Juanma Bajo Ulloa is back with his mystery thriller “Baby”

Juanma Bajo Ulloa is back with his mystery thriller "Baby"
Rosie Day in Baby (2020). Photo © Frágil Zinema

Juanma Bajo Ulloa is a hero. A rebel, a visionary, and an essential filmmaker. In a corrupt country like Spain the film industry can’t escape from the crooked ways of a bunch of producers and distributors that never cared about the art, they just want their slice of the cake. But he managed to make himself a tiny name as a very sensitive and personal filmmaker thanks to his two first films Butterfly Wings (1991) (Alas de Mariposa in original Spanish language) and La madre Muerta (1993) (that translated into English would be The Dead Mother), two independent dramas with a touch of mystery that collected numerous awards in prestigious international film festivals like Goya Awards, San Sebastián International Film Festival, or Venice Film Festival.

Then, one day everything changed with Airbag (1997). An action-comedy that portrays with a very acid sense of humor the hypocrisy and miseries of institutions like the Church, politics, business, prostitution, and human trafficking. It really has everything. Everything! All packed in a non-stop action pace and full of jokes that still are part of the vocabulary of a generation 25 years after. Airbag (1997) was a great success at all levels, economic and social. The Spanish movie everybody went to see, everybody was talking about. And it opened the door to many other films following the style that never reached the level of the perfectness of Airbag (1997). But that was a nightmare for the Spanish film industry, they wouldn’t allow a guy like Juanma Bajo Ulloa and his crew, the rebel with a cause, the independent fearless film master, to get the glory he deserved. So the film industry pulled the strings and Bajo Ulloa fell into oblivion. Zero official distribution for his upcoming films, no access to a decent budget, and the sell-out press ignoring or detracting everything he was involved in. His next works Frágil (2004) and Rey Gitano (2015) went through the eyes of the audience without a fuss.

Now, he is focused on the international market and is back with another very personal, risky, and interesting project, Baby (2020), a movie without a line of dialogue where the emotions and the images are the ones telling the story. In it, a young girl drug addict gives birth in the middle of one of her breakdowns. Unable to give proper care to her baby, she sells him to a disturbing woman who works in the child trade business. The girl will soon regret her decision and she will have to overcome her weaknesses and face her deepest fears.

The movie is written and directed by Juanma Bajo Ulloa, who also produces the film via his own banner Frágil Zinema. The international mainly female cast is formed by Rosie Day, Harriet Sansom Harris, Natalia Tena, Mafalda Carbonell, Charo López, Natalia Ruiz, Carmen San Esteban, and Susana Soleto.

Baby (2020) had its world premiere on October 11, 2020, at the Sitges Film Festival where it was nominated for Best Motion Picture in the Official Fantàstic Competition, although only managed to win for Best Original Music. No international release dates have been announced yet, but here you can see the official trailer for the film.

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