Arts & Entertainment

Money Heist star in India to shoot in ‘Valley of Shadows’

By Mikaela Viqueira

Manali, India, May 23 (EFE).- Spanish film director Salvador Calvo is in the Himalayan mountains of India to shoot “Valle de sombras” (which translates as “Valley of Shadows”), a film starring Miguel Herran of Money Heist fame that narrates a tale of adventure reflecting on guilt in a remote area abound with dangers.

Although it is a Spanish production, most of the 125 people working behind the scenes for this part of the shoot are Indian, something that has helped overcome many of the challenges that a shoot in the Himalayas can present.

“Managing crowds in India is a big mess (…) Especially when Rio (Miguel Herran) is shooting here. Everyone calls him Rio. He is a very popular actor in India and Money Heist is a very popular series in India. Everyone wants to take pictures with him, so we have very strict security,” the film’s Indian producer Kunal Srivastav told EFE.

The Spanish film director is shooting his third feature film, a project that took three years to materialize and which he hopes to complete by the end of next winter.

The story takes place in Kullu Valley, in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, for which Calvo felt the need to shoot a part of the film in that part of the country..

“India, if you know it, is very difficult to recreate. We have tried to recreate some things, part of the filming has been done in Spain, in Gran Canaria, but India has some landscapes and some people that I think is very difficult to reproduce,” Calvo said in an interview with EFE.

The idea of telling a story about this remote and unknown area of the Himalayas came when the Spanish director, who was planning a trip to India in the late 1990s, heard news of backpackers who had been attacked by local thugs.

The area, sacred to many cultures and religions, attracted tourists between the age of 20-30, who came “to have fun, smoke marijuana and dance in ‘raves’,” and some disappeared along the way, victims of assaults, possibly from locals tired of this type of tourism, according to Calvo.

“The Lonely Planet in 1999 had an advisory warning that this area was conflictive and to be careful about accepting drinks from unknown people or even from the “sadhus” or the holy men, because not all are saints,” remarked the director.

Bringing ‘Valle de Sombras’ to the big screen was a complex process that began in 2020, in the midst of a pandemic, when Calvo traveled to northern India with a small production group to assess the possible scenarios for the shoot.

The story is about Quique (Miguel Herran), Clara (Susana Abaitua) and the little Lucas (Ivan Renedo), a family that decides to travel to India for healing when a decision completely changes the course of their lives.

“Initially things go very well, … (everything is) very beautiful, (but) something terrible ends up happening that makes Quique remain isolated in a lost town and have a duel with himself,” Miguel Herran told EFE.

The story is set in 1999, when there were still no mobile phones or Wi-Fi, and reflects on the personal grief that Quique is going through to face a dilemma that will help him “learn to forgive himself and continue with life,” the actor added. EFE


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