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Lots of Kids, a Monkey and a Castle

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Spain | 2017 | 90 minutes | Gustavo Salmeron

Hysterical, genuine, and relatable, this documentary is an ode to a mother's love and care for her children as the director's own mother, the 70-something Julieta, comes to terms with her family's financial ruin amid Spain's economic crisis.

All she wanted out of life was to have lots of kids, a monkey, and a castle. For 70-something Julita, the spirited mother of Spanish actor and first-time filmmaker Gustavo Salmeron (SIFF 2010's Carlitos and the Chance of a Lifetime), all those dreams came true, yet there was always room for just a little bit more. In love with a world that didn't always return the feeling, Julita's cluttered, raucous life has been one filled with the adoration of her six children and oft exasperated husband, yet a piercing sadness brought on by childhood experiences during the Spanish Civil War has never quite faded. Now spending her autumn years ensconced in a real castle outside Madrid and obsessed with locating a pair of her beloved grandfather's vertebrae, Julita discovers that her country's broken economy is forcing her to give up her home, bringing her colorfully dysfunctional family together for one last triumphant hurrah. Spliced from 14 years of footage—Super 8, digicam, and iPhone video mix together beautifully—Salmeron creates a poignant, touching, and often hysterical love letter to an unforgettable, larger than life woman.

Director Biography
Born in Madrid, Spain, Gustavo Salmeron was passionate about the arts from an early age. As a young boy he studied acting, painting, and filmmaking extensively. After spending some time acting in theatre and film, Salmeron transitioned to directing and writing, and won the Goya Award for Best Short Film for his animated short, Salad Days. He began working on his personal documentary, Lots of Kids, a Monkey and a Castle, 15 years ago.

Sponsored by Accion Cultural Espanola, Honorary Consulate of Spain in Seattle, Poquitos, 3rd Act Magazine

  • Original Language Title: Castle Muchos hijos, un mono y un castillo
  • Director: Gustavo Salmeron
  • Principal Cast: Julieta Salmeron, Gustavo Salmeron
  • Premiere Status: Seattle
  • Country: Spain
  • Year: 2017
  • Running Time: 90 minutes
  • Producer: Gustavo Salmeron
  • Screenplay: Beatriz Montanez Gustavo Salmeron Raul de Torres
  • Cinematographers: Gustavo Salmeron
  • Editors: Raul de Torres
  • Music: Mastretta
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: Goya Awards 2018 (Best Documentary) Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 2017 (Grand Prix Documentary Winner)
  • Filmography: Debut Feature Film
  • Language: Spanish
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP
  • International Sales: Dogwoof