Beta Film partners again with Spanish prodco on Nazi-refugee drama “Light of Elna”
Munich, 15 July 2016. After the ongoing international success of Spanish TV fiction, Beta Film has again partnered with a Spanish production company, picking up the rights of the Nazi-refugee-drama Light of Elna by director Sílvia Quer (‘Velvet’, ‘Grand Hotel’). César-nominated French actress Noémie Schmidt (‘Versailles’) stars along Spain’s Blanca Romero (‘Under Suspicion’), Berlinale Shooting star and multiple Goya-award winning Natalia de Molina and Austria’s Marie-Christine Friedrich (‘All is Forgiven’). The Spanish-Swiss co-production by Distinto Films, Producciones Cibeles and the Swiss Bohemian Films is currently in production and will wrap at the end of July.
The heroes portrayed in war movies are almost always males making ample use of their weapons. The young Swiss teacher Elisabeth Eidenbenz used only her humanity and determination to create a maternity home for female World War II refugees about to give birth. It is the year 1942 in Nazi-occupied Southwestern France. Refugee camps are packed with Spanish civil war expatriates and Jews from all over Europe. Elisabeth and her female co-workers literally scoop up these women from the refugee camps and take them to the maternity of Elna which she founded with no nursing or midwife experience. But now, the home is on the brink of closure by the Nazis and their local collaborators. Can the safe haven of humanity Elisabeth has created miraculously survive in the face of tyranny and beginning monstrosities of deportation and racial extinction? And can she save the life of a young Jewish boy whose mother has already been taken away?
Light of Elna reveals the near-forgotten true story of Elisabeth Eidenbenz’ struggle for the lives of young mothers and their children, unborn and born, in endlessly more challenging times than today, thus providing a role model and metaphor for what our modern times so dearly lack.
Light of Elna is produced by Distinto Films, Barcelona in co-production with Producciones Cibeles, Bohemian Films, Televisió de Catalunya, Canal Sur, Radio Télévision Suisse and Televisión Española, in cooperation with Institut Català de les Empreses Culturals, Media Suisse and Cinéforom, and in association with Beta Film as the worldwide distributor.