Latido Films acquires Goya Award-winning producer Alvaro Longoria’s Tequila, Sex, Drugs and Rock for international sales.
With the launch of the Madrid-based Morena Films, which Longoria co-founded, the Doctor marks Longoria’s return to directing, Longoria’s 2012 debut “Children of the Clouds,” produced by Javier Bardem, won the Spanish Academy Goya Award, and 2015’s “Propaganda Game” was nominated. Meanwhile, in just the last few years, Longoria has produced Asghar Farhadi’s Cannes film “Everybody Knows” and Spanish box office hit “Champion.”
“I make, that’s how I make a living, but it’s a passion for me to direct documentaries,” Longoria said.
As part of the Made in Spain showcase, “Tequila” will have its world premiere at this month’s San Sebastian festival, depicting the rise of the Argentine-Spanish rock band led by Ariel Rot and Alejo Stivel.
The pair will perform again in a series of post-movie concerts. The four events will be held in Spain at an undisclosed location.
“Tequila robbed Spain of its virginity,” Longoria told type“There were many bands later, but they were really the first Spanish pure rock band to connect with the people. It was the soundtrack of a generation”. Best friends Ariel and Alejo left an Argentina on the verge of a military dictatorship and arrived in Spain in 1975 – a country hungry for new culture and excitement.
The documentation feature combines archival performances with interviews presented in a 4:3 aspect ratio to reflect the format common to 70s TV shows. Ariel’s brother Cecilia Rot deftly captures the tragedy of not only the band’s rise but also the tragedy of their drug addiction throughout the film.
“We are always proud to work with Morena, a company with which we have enjoyed great success. In this case, even more so, because our friend, producer and director Alvaro Alvaro Longoria directed one of the most exciting documentaries about one of the rock bands that changed Spain,” said Latido head Antonio Sora. “His unique vision allows us to better understand how rock bands can impact the lives of a country undergoing profound change and popularize their music,” he added.
type Talk to Longoria on the eve of San Sebastian:
One of their songs in the movie has the lyric “We’re going to rock and no one’s stopping us.” It seems to capture what it was like to be in Spain at the time. How do you think the timing of Tequila’s launch in 1975 affected their success?
Longoria: Spain is a grey country and then all of a sudden rumbling! Blast, this is the group out there and people connect with them right away. The truth is, it’s an amazing story. This will be the soundtrack that changes their (Spanish) lives, they go from darkness to rainbow. “
Compared to Spain, which was just emerging from a cultural vacuum in 1975, Ariel and Alejo seem to be culturally ahead given their upbringing in Argentina…
Longoria: It’s fate: just as Argentina went from light to darkness, Spain went from darkness to light. They are at an intersection and they switch at the right time. They come from a country that is very advanced by Spanish standards, where the culture is everywhere, but all of a sudden it shuts down. They managed to jump to a country that was opening up. They just continued the trend of what was happening in Argentina when they left. But for Spain, it was a revolution. “
In the movie, Cecilia Rotter talks about “Heaven out of control,” which is true for the band. How do you avoid telling cliché rock stories?
Longoria: The clichés were so obvious when I started. But when you actually study tequila, you hear them talk about their lives: how they went from childhood to victory, absolute fame to disaster in four years. It’s curious how this sudden growth story turned into a rather dramatic one and made it interesting. Cecilia is important because she is there. She had seen her brother go mad at the same time she went mad, maybe even more so. “
What do you think of the film’s popularity outside Spain?
Longoria: When we started doing this, I thought of “Finding the Sugar Man,” because it’s interesting that, despite being Argentine, nobody outside Spain knew them. This group of people doesn’t have time to travel. So I think this movie will be an eye-opener, especially for Latin American audiences who don’t know tequila but may know both Ariel and Alejo. I think it was a revelation for a lot of people, especially in Argentina.
What do you think of the current state of Spanish documentary production?
Longoria: Documentary is still a small genre in Spain, although platforms have started to do so. But if you look at what the platforms are doing, it’s mostly small productions, usually crime-driven, sports personalities or scandals. No move to larger offerings yet. There are plenty of budget documentaries being funded in the UK and US, but that hasn’t happened in Spain. But that’s because platforms need products, they need very high-profile products, and it’s much cheaper for platforms to make high-profile documentaries than high-profile novels.