With the pandemic putting productions on pause, Mubi is adding Pablo Larraín’s “Ema” to its streaming service in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and India. The film is now shifting away from its theatrical release in the U.K. and Ireland, due to global theater closures.
“Ema” follows the life of one dancer’s decision to reclaim the adoptive son she shared with her choreography teacher. It stars Mariana Di Girolamo and Gael García Bernal (“Mozart in the Jungle”). According to Deadline, no theatrical debut is arranged for the film to premiere in India, but Mubi will still add the title to its streaming deal in the region.
“Ema” world premiered at the 2019 Venice Film Festival, where it won the UNIMED Award for “its artistic value and its ability to depict the current themes of integration and multiculturalism.” In a September 2019 interview with RogerEbert.com, Larraín spoke on the essence of his female protagonist:
Through cinema, you can bring a testimony of what that sensibility kind of triggers in you as a filmmaker. I think of [Ema] like she’s a sister, she’s a daughter, a lover, dancer, a wife, and a mother—so almost the whole spectrum. It’s just beautiful to be able to absorb that and put it into a movie.
The film features reggaeton music and sensual dancing sequences, with cinematography by Sergio Armstrong. Music Box Films acquired U.S. distribution rights in December 2019 and premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.
“This is one of those films that you have to see to believe,” added Music Box Films’ President William Schopf. “Entirely singular, hypnotic, and compelling, it’s a film that absolutely seduces the senses.”
Larraín’s filmography includes “Neruda,” “The Club,” and “Post Mortem.” He also helmed “Jackie,” starring Oscar nominee Natalie Portman. He is currently in pre-production on the biographical drama, “The True American.”
Fabula is the production company behind “Ema,” with executive producers Rocío Jadue and Andrea Undurraga. Other titles from Music Box Films include “And Then We Danced,” “The Perfect Candidate” and Werner Herzog’s “Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin.”