‘The Odd-Job Men’, by Neus Ballús, will compete in the 66th edition of the Valladolid International Film Festival

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  • The film will have its Spanish premiere in the Official Selection after its world premiere at Locarno, where it won, among others, the award for the best male performance ex aequo for its lead actors.

The feature film ‘The Odd-Job Men’ (‘Sis dies corrents’) by Neus Ballús, has been selected to participate in competition in the Official Section of the 66th Valladolid International Film Festival (SEMINCI). The film will have its premiere in Spain during the upcoming edition of the “Film Week”, after its world premiere on August 7 at the Locarno Film Festival, where it won the award for best male performance ex aequo for Mohamed Mellali and Valero Escolar, the Europa Cinemas Label award for best European film granted by a jury of exhibitors, and a special mention the Festival’s independent young jury.

‘The Odd-Job Men’, which will also participate in the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) before its presentation in Valladolid, will be the second Spanish film in competition, after Clara Roquet’s ‘Libertad’, which will kick off the 66th edition of Seminci on October 23rd (as already published on this website).

Based on real situations and characters, The Odd-Job Men tells the day-to-day life of Moha, Valero and Pep, workers in a small plumbing and electrical business on the outskirts of Barcelona. For a week, Moha, the youngest, will have to show that he is ready to replace Pep, who is about to retire. However, Valero considers that Moha “is not the right profile” and doubts that clients will welcome a Moroccan worker in their homes.

As is customary in her filmography, Neus Ballús has chosen a cast made up entirely of non-professional non-actors who basically play themselves. After a two-year casting hunt and a long research process, the director chose the trio of protagonists, all of them real plumbers, to perform the wide variety of situations that arise when they visit a client’s house to do a repair.

Under a layer of light-hearted humour and everyday life, the six stories that make up the film, corresponding to he six days of a working week, conceal a deep reflection on the amount of prejudice that is stirred up as we are forced to live with someone different from ourselves.

Neus Ballús made her directorial debut with ‘The Plague’ (2013), a film that premiered in the Forum section of the Berlin Festival and was nominated for the European Film Awards and the European Parliament’s LUX Awards. In addition, she was a nominee for Best New Director at the Goya Awards and won four Gaudí Awards: Best Film, Director, Screenplay and Editing. It also received the Sant Jordi Award for Best First Film and more than 20 additional prizes at film festivals around the world.

Her second feature film, ‘Staff Only’ (2019), starring Sergi López, had its international premiere in the Panorama section of the Berlinale, competed at the Malaga Film Festival and received four nominations for the Gaudí Awards, including those for Best Film and Best Director. ‘The Odd-Job Men’ is the third feature film directed by Ballús, who has also signed several short films, documentaries and audiovisual pieces for museums and exhibitions, regularly teaches seminars in film schools around the world and is the founder of the audiovisual production company El Kinògraf.

With a script co-authored by the director herself and Margarita Melgar (the pseudonym of scriptwriters Montse Ganges and Ana Sanz-Magallón), ‘The Odd-Job Men’ is a production by Distinto Films and El Kinògraf, in association with France’s Slot Machine (France). The film has also engaged the participation of Radio Televisión Española, Televisió de Catalunya and Movistar + and the support of ICAA and ICEC, as well as the promotion provided by the Master’s Programme in Creative Documentary at UPF. The film will soon hit theatres under film distributor Filmax.

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