Hard Times

Fiction Feature Film – 2005
Directed by Manuel Martín Cuenca

Set in the heart of Madrid, Malas temporadas (Hard Times) is the story of Mikel (Javier Cámara), Ana (Nathalie Poza) and Carlos (Eman Xor Oña), people who end up becoming intertwined while they search for their place in the world. A place that keeps getting further from their ideals and ends up disappearing. The only solution left for them is starting from what they have, from what is real, and begin building from there. People whose fate has led them down unforeseen roads, and who now share the need to reconsider the options still open to them.

In a high school classroom, a group of teenagers is taking an exam. They all seem very concentrated, all except one: Gonzalo has decided not to write anything and leave his sheet blank. He doesn’t care about failing the exam; he doesn’t care if his mother gets angry with him. In fact, that’s what he wants. He doesn’t know why, but he doesn’t like how things are around him and he’s decided that the world is going to stop… at least his world.

Not far away from there, a woman takes a commuter train: she is Ana, Gonzalo’s mother. Like every morning, she goes to work at a non-profit organization for refugees aid: the most important thing in her life. It’s what takes up all of her time, because her son is old enough to take care of himself, and love… it’s been a very long time since love actually mattered

Meanwhile, at the outskirts of the airport in Madrid, Carlos, a Cuban exile, watches airplanes land. Carlos was a pilot in Cuba and he was Ana’s last love. Now, they are only friends. Carlos makes a living by smuggling cigars and art off the island: a way to survive. But Carlos is not satisfied with his life… and he dreams of living far away from Spain.

At the same time a man walks along a lonely highway until he reaches a bus stop. He is Mikel, who has just been released from prison. The bus doesn’t appear, Mikel lights a cigar while he waits. It is a special cigar: a gift from Pascual, his cell partner for four years. Pascual got out more than a year ago; since then Mikel hasn’t had news of him. Now, out on a lonely highway, Mikel smokes and thinks about him… and a way to find him and reconnect with him. The life of Ana, Carlos and Mikel will get entwined bit by bit. Each will have to face their own problems and to make their own decisions, but all of them will be influenced and helped by each other. They will live hard times, and they will fight to overcome them.

 

Cast:

Javier Camara
Nathalie Poza
Eman Xor Oña
Leonor Watling
Pere Arquillué
Fernando Echebarria
Gonzalo Pedrosa

Director:
Manuel Martín Cuenca

Screenwriter:
Alejandro HernándezManuel Martín Cuenca

Executive Producer:
Fernando Victoria de Lecea

Production Manager:
Fernando Victoria de Lecea

Director of Photography:
David Carter

Editor:
Ángel Hernández Zoido

Sound:
Eva Valiño
Nacho Royo-Villanova

Art Director:
Víctor Molero

Makeup and Hairdressing:
Patricia López (Make-up)
Mara Collazo (Hairdresser)

Technical Specifications:
Filming format: 35 mm.
Projection Format: 1:2,35
Screen format: 16/9 anamorphic compatible 4/3
Color/B & N: Color
Runtime: 115 ‘
Language: Spanish

Premiered at  San Sebastian International Film Festival. 

GOYA AWARDS. Nominated to Best Actress. 

FOTOGRAMAS AWARDS. Nominated to Best Actress and Best Actor

SANTA BARBARA FILM FESTIVAL. Best Film. 

SAN DIEGO FILM FESTIVAL. Best Film

SANTO DOMINGO FILM FESTIVAL. Best Director. 

Synopsis

Set in the heart of Madrid, Malas temporadas (Hard Times) is the story of Mikel (Javier Cámara), Ana (Nathalie Poza) and Carlos (Eman Xor Oña), people who end up becoming intertwined while they search for their place in the world. A place that keeps getting further from their ideals and ends up disappearing. The only solution left for them is starting from what they have, from what is real, and begin building from there. People whose fate has led them down unforeseen roads, and who now share the need to reconsider the options still open to them.

In a high school classroom, a group of teenagers is taking an exam. They all seem very concentrated, all except one: Gonzalo has decided not to write anything and leave his sheet blank. He doesn’t care about failing the exam; he doesn’t care if his mother gets angry with him. In fact, that’s what he wants. He doesn’t know why, but he doesn’t like how things are around him and he’s decided that the world is going to stop… at least his world.

Not far away from there, a woman takes a commuter train: she is Ana, Gonzalo’s mother. Like every morning, she goes to work at a non-profit organization for refugees aid: the most important thing in her life. It’s what takes up all of her time, because her son is old enough to take care of himself, and love… it’s been a very long time since love actually mattered

Meanwhile, at the outskirts of the airport in Madrid, Carlos, a Cuban exile, watches airplanes land. Carlos was a pilot in Cuba and he was Ana’s last love. Now, they are only friends. Carlos makes a living by smuggling cigars and art off the island: a way to survive. But Carlos is not satisfied with his life… and he dreams of living far away from Spain.

At the same time a man walks along a lonely highway until he reaches a bus stop. He is Mikel, who has just been released from prison. The bus doesn’t appear, Mikel lights a cigar while he waits. It is a special cigar: a gift from Pascual, his cell partner for four years. Pascual got out more than a year ago; since then Mikel hasn’t had news of him. Now, out on a lonely highway, Mikel smokes and thinks about him… and a way to find him and reconnect with him. The life of Ana, Carlos and Mikel will get entwined bit by bit. Each will have to face their own problems and to make their own decisions, but all of them will be influenced and helped by each other. They will live hard times, and they will fight to overcome them.

 

Technical Data

Cast:

Javier Camara
Nathalie Poza
Eman Xor Oña
Leonor Watling
Pere Arquillué
Fernando Echebarria
Gonzalo Pedrosa

Director:
Manuel Martín Cuenca

Screenwriter:
Alejandro HernándezManuel Martín Cuenca

Executive Producer:
Fernando Victoria de Lecea

Production Manager:
Fernando Victoria de Lecea

Director of Photography:
David Carter

Editor:
Ángel Hernández Zoido

Sound:
Eva Valiño
Nacho Royo-Villanova

Art Director:
Víctor Molero

Makeup and Hairdressing:
Patricia López (Make-up)
Mara Collazo (Hairdresser)

Technical Specifications:
Filming format: 35 mm.
Projection Format: 1:2,35
Screen format: 16/9 anamorphic compatible 4/3
Color/B & N: Color
Runtime: 115 ‘
Language: Spanish

Awards
Premiered at  San Sebastian International Film Festival. 

GOYA AWARDS. Nominated to Best Actress. 

FOTOGRAMAS AWARDS. Nominated to Best Actress and Best Actor

SANTA BARBARA FILM FESTIVAL. Best Film. 

SAN DIEGO FILM FESTIVAL. Best Film

SANTO DOMINGO FILM FESTIVAL. Best Director. 

Filmography

Filmografía Productora
Filmografía Director
En Desarrollo