I was born and they named me Lara, after the movie Doctor Zhivago (1965).
So movies are inherently a part of my name.
I started going to my hometown movie theater with friends on Sundays for 125 Pesetas. The Free Willy saga that came out that year marked my childhood. I fell in love with Willy and the main character.
The VHS player came to our house and with it, the movies I have watched most in my life:
The Twelve Tasks of Asterix (1976), Kindergarten Cop (1990), Beauty and the Beast (1991), and Mrs. Doubtfire (1993). I can still sing like Belle or be Robin Williams’ daughter.
I saw Lost in Translation in Bilbao when I was 18. And for the first time, I thought I could do something related to cinema.
I threw myself into film study and went to New York. I found the best place in the universe: the biggest video store in the world, Kim’s Video. I was living a movie buff’s dream. I discovered works by Tarantino, the Cohen brothers, Altman, Lynch, Allen, Akerman, Saura, Bergman…
I watched Fish Tank with my friends from the film school and something clicked inside me; I realized that few of the films I had seen were directed by women. From then on, I changed my focus.
I wrote and directed my first short film, Bicycle Poem, which I am very proud of. I decided to try and become a serious director. When I was 25, I started the film company, Gariza Films.
My first documentary, Next Stop Greenland, premiered in a movie theater with big crowd. For the first time, I felt how nice it was to connect with the public through a project of my own. I cried for hours with the excitement that came from the premiere.
My dream had come true. I wrote and directed An Autumn Without Berlin, the most important movie in my life.
An Autumn Without Berlin opened at the San Sebastian International Film Festival. The film turned into a gift that keeps growing. To my surprise, the audience and the critics welcomed the film very well.
An Autumn Without Berlin won a Goya award in the category of Best New Actress for Irene Escolar’s performance. Irene shouted at me from the stage “We got it Lari”. And I cried and cried and cried and cried. I was so happy, so happy.
Everything went crazy and I switched jobs for 6 months. In June, I went back to film, which is the work I like the most in the world.
I started to develop my second feature film, which changes titles every three months. It went from Ane & Pierre, to Ane & Peru, to Ane & Peio. The title will probably change a thousand times before it premieres.
And the title changed, indeed. My second feature changes name and character to make way for Nora, which I film in August and September.
NORA, stronger than the pandemic and Covid-19, premieres at the San Sebastian Festival. A dream come true.
The film will finally be yours. With great excitement, NORA will be in cinemas on… who can guess the date?
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