Leading documentary specialist Dogwoof has acquired world sales rights to Miguel Eek’s feature debut “The First Woman,” following its world premiere in the First Appearance Competition section of documentary film festival IDFA, which runs Nov. 18-Dec. 6.
The film (see trailer here) is an intimate and tender portrait of Eva, a woman who has struggled with mental illness, loss, and addiction, and her search for a “normal” life, and to reunite with her son after an estrangement lasting 15 years.
Luke Brawley, Dogwoof’s festivals manager, said that having followed Eek’s previous work, “we recognized his distinctive style and talent early on.” In “The First Woman,” Eek’s “unique perspective on character and narrative is in full focus,” Brawley added. “This beautiful portrayal of one woman’s aspiration to live a ‘normal’ life, after struggling with loss and addiction, cements Miguel as a real talent to follow on the festival and awards circuit.”
“The First Woman” joins Eva as she is given permission to leave the psychiatric institution she’s lived in for six years. Now she just has to wait until an assisted living residence frees up. Cigarettes and a few conversations help time pass, but are not enough. After a long year of waiting, the news arrives: a place has been found for her.
Eva takes the first steps toward the “normal” life she longs for: to find a job, earn an income of her own, visit her mother… even find love. While she’s taking stock of her past and works on her self-confidence as well as her trust in the outside world, she also fixes firmly on her main goal: to reconnect with the son she lost custody of 20 years ago, and ask him to forgive her.
“The First Woman” is a film about second chances, the search for “normality,” and “the borderline between lucidity and darkness,” according to Dogwoof.
The film was produced by Marta Castells and Virginia Galán for Mosaic Productions in co-production with IB3 with the support of Consell de Mallorca and IEB.
Eek graduated in documentary filmmaking at ESCAC in Catalonia in 2004 and Arcada University in Helsinki in 2005. After working as a director of documentaries, fiction TV series and documentary TV series, in 2007 he founded his own production company Mosaic in Mallorca.
As well as “The First Woman,” he is the director, scriptwriter and producer of the documentaries “Coming Soon Last Days” (2020), “City of the Dead” (2019), “Life and Death of an Architect” (2017) and “Divine Life” (2015).
His films have been selected in more than 30 international festivals, and awarded prizes that have included best script at the Madrid Film Festival, two City of Palma awards for best film, three Latino awards, and best documentary and best script at the Mallorca de Cinema awards.