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Dutch Premiere of ‘Staff Only’ in the Presence of Star Elena Andrada

16 September 2020

The Second Edition of the 013 Cinecitta International Film Festival Opens With Dutch Premiere of Spanish Film ‘Staff Only’ in the Presence of Star Elena Andrada

The 013 Cinecitta International Film Festival in Tilburg is happy to announce that the Dutch premiere of the Spanish film Staff Only will be the Opening Night screening for the second edition of the festival, which takes place Thursday, 22 October through Sunday, 25 October. In addition, we are very pleased that the Thursday Opening Night selection will include the presence of the film’s young star, Elena Andrada, who will introduce the film and engage in a post-screening Q&A with the audience. Ms Andrada will then remain as a Festival guest for the duration of the festival.

Directed by female documentarian-turned-fiction-filmmaker Neus Ballús, Staff Only is both a sensitive, perfectly acted coming-of-age tale and a razor-sharp critique of the exploitative ‘all-inclusive’ tourism industry. Ms Andrada is a natural as 17-year-old Marta, who reluctantly embarks on a Christmas holiday in Senegal with her travel-agent father (Sergi López), and her grumpy little brother. New worlds open up for Marta when she goes beyond the ‘staff only’ doorway and meets hotel maid Aissatou (Madeleine C. Ndong) and videographer Khouma (Diomaye A. Ngom)…

Drawing on her documentary background and a cast of first-time actors (European star López is the only professional), Ballús uses her directorial skill to fashion a drama that, as top critic Jessica Kiang said in industry bible Variety, is both ‘perceptive [and] intelligent… The film’s defining strength may be Ballús’ rare ability to wield compassion for each one of her imperfect characters without making excuses for any of them… [The film’s bittersweet tone] illuminates the unusual and valuable idea that discovering how to be a good tourist is a lot like working out how to be a good adult.’

Ms Andrada, now 21, was born in Barcelona. During her senior year in high school, she met director Ballús, who was scouting for the lead for Staff Only and deliberately looking for young women with no acting experience. Ms Andrada won the role over many others and began what she called ‘her first shooting adventure’ in Saly, Senegal. She is currently studying for a degree in Humanities at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona.

The second edition of the 013 CIFF will again feature 13 fiction features from 13 different countries, 11 of them Dutch or Benelux premieres. All film information and schedules can be found on the Festival website—013ciff.com, this year including Dutch translations for all film notes—as of Monday, 21 September. Free, handy pocket guides—in both Dutch and English versions—are also available throughout Tilburg and the region from 21 September. Tickets can be purchased from that date both online via the website and at the Cinecitta box office. The new Festival Pass, which allows access to all screenings (with the exception of Opening Night), can be purchased in person from the Cinecitta box office, also beginning on 21 September.

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