Nagore Eceiza Preps ‘If You Wish To Make An Apple Pie,’ MAFF-Bound

Basque documentarian Nagore Eceiza (“Fifty Rupees Only”) is preparing to pitch her feature-length film, “If You Wish To Make An Apple Pie,” alongside 21 other projects at Málaga’s 2023 Festival Fund & Co-Production Event (MAFF), which platforms new projects from emergent Spanish and Latin American talent.

Put through San Sebastian’s Ikusmira Berriak, one of Spain’s foremost development labs, and produced by Spain’s Izaskun Arandia at Izar Films and Eceiza’s own El Santo Films, the project unfurls and questions ingrained religious tenets and archaic societal structures that keep two lovers at a distance. 

“I decided to produce the documentary film because of the great talent behind it. I was moved by the main theme, its treatment, but most of all by the strength, passion and determination of the main character, Dorine,” stated Arandia. “The film is a necessary reflection on the role of women in different cultures and religions and the importance of breaking the rules.” 

Exploring the natural progression of a chance meeting with her subject, Eceiza holds firm that documentary filmmaking is far more about a loosely mapped and malleable journey than a preconceived set of scenes.

“In the case of this documentary, the seed was an anecdotal event. I met the protagonist, Dorine, in India and I noticed her hands. She seemed to me to identify, by her movements, as a painter. I asked her and she confirmed it,” Eceiza told Variety. “She invited me to eat in her studio to learn about her work and as a result of that coincidence, I accidentally discovered the clandestine love story of a modern Romeo and Juliet. I felt the need to tell the world about that relationship that could only exist hidden between those walls.”  

If You Wish To Make An Apple Pie
Courtesy of Izaskun Arandia

The film is set to further showcase Eceiza’s tender curiosity and add to an already robust repertoire that includes shorts, “After Maria” and “Larre Motzean,“ both unnerving and profound. She manages to pull a portion of the human spirit out of each theme she tackles, framing her subjects earnestly.

“Exploring various cultures teaches me that humanity is, by nature, good but selfish. It’s fragile and it can easily debase itself. It teaches me that in life, being a good person doesn’t always come with reward, that the good people are more plentiful, but the fools occupy the important decision-making spaces. I keep wondering how we let them get there,” she stated. 

“It teaches me that ‘almost everything’ has a price, that small achievements count as big ones and finally, that you have to think globally and act locally.” 

Tackling the broader social consciousness, Eceiza brings themes of women’s fortitude and ambition to the fore, uncovering the systems in place to halt them and the grand design of religion, culture and gender roles in societies that rely heavily on the very women they often mistreat.

She previously earned Málaga’s Silver Biznaga award for the short “Fifty Rupees Only,” a fascinating retrospective on arranged love vs. Bollywood romance and the chasm between, focusing on the women that hold the weight of tradition on their shoulders, the brunt of the unjust burden in their souls.

“Belonging to a community means sharing common elements that build a collective identity. Same rules, same language, same customs,” Eceiza stated.

“The communities should move under the same objective and common good. But unfortunately, the slab of religions anchored in the past, and an ancestral patriarchal system have relieved women as the last link in the chain in some societies,” she added.

“They’re women who generally don’t reveal themselves to the system: How are they going to reveal themselves in favor of their rights if they don’t even know they have them? They’re women who were born programmed to be second class citizens. And they educate their own daughters with the same patterns of conduct.” 

Already securing nearly half of their funding, with a goal to complete financing before June, the pair are banking on the message at the core of the film to resonate. As Carl Sagan postured and the narrative’s love story relates, “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”

Courtesy of Izaskun Arandia

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