(foto by: Enrique Cidoncha)
Maria Ripoll is an award-winning Spanish film director with an international background and outlook. She is currently the highest-grossing female film director in Spanish history, with eight feature films to her credit.
Maria studied at the American Film Institute (AFI) in Los Angeles. Her short film, KILL ME LATER, won the First Prize in the Oberhausen Film Festival and the Panavision Grant at the Houston Film Festival. She then directed her first feature-length film, TWICE UPON A YESTERDAY or IF ONLY , starring Lena Headey, Douglas Henshall and Penelope Cruz. The film won Best Screenplay at the Montreal Film Festival, the Audience Award at the Sitges Film Festival, the Seattle Women’s Film Festival and led to Maria being nominated for a Goya (Spain’s Oscars) for Best New Director. After this, Maria directed TORTILLA SOUP in Los Angeles starring Hector Elizondo, Jacqueline Obradors, Raquel Welch and Elizabeth Peña. It was produced by Samuel Goldwyn Jr and was a noted success, breaking Latin American stereotypes on it’s way to nine nominations at the ALMA Awards. She then directed WITNESS, a documentary shot in New York for Canal Plus.
Returning to Spain, Maria shot the thriller feature film UTOPIA, which was a top choice with critics and the public alike. In Barcelona she then directed YOUR LIFE IN 65’, based on the play by Albert Espinosa. “65” was invited to numerous festivals, including the AFI Los Angeles Film Festival and the Stockholm International Film Festival and was another success in Spain. For Spanish television Maria directed FAME, EVERYTHING FOR A DREAM for TVE and then turned to producing as well as directing with CHROMOSOME 5, a touching documentary for TVE. The film was very well received in Spain and around the world, garnering many awards.
In 2014 she directed the drama TRACES OF SANDALWOOD, a film shot in Mumbai and Barcelona. The film won the GAUDI in 2014 for BEST FILM and the Audience Award at the Montreal and Cinequest Festivals. Her next film, NOW OR NEVER, premiered in June 2015. This romantic comedy was a summer blockbuster and turned Maria into Spain’s most successful female director. The film has been screened at the Montreal, Toronto and Miami Films Festivals.
Her most recent film, DON’T BLAME IT ON YOUR KARMA , based on the best-selling book, premiered in November 2016, reaching number 1 in Spain during it’s second week and screening at the Miami Film Festival in March 2017.
TWICE UPON A YESTERDAY or IF ONLY (Feature)
(Original Title:Lluvia En Los Zapatos) – starring Douglas Henshall, Lena Headey, Penelope Cruz
A shambling, out-of-work actor, desperate to win back the affections of his ex-girlfriend, unexpectedly stumbles upon a way to turn back the clock.
Best Screenplay Montreal Film Festival, Audience Award Sitges Film Festival, Audience Award Seattle Woman Film Festival, Nominated Goya 1999 for Best Director
TORTILLA SOUP (Feature)
starring Hector Elizondo, Elizabeth Peña, Raquel Welch, Jacqueline Obradors
A Mexican-American chef and father to 3 daughters has lost his taste for food but not for life.
7 ALMA Nominations including Best Director, winning best supporting actress
WITNESS is an international nonprofit organization that enables anyone, anywhere to use video and technology to protect and defend human rights.
ÚTOPIA – Feature
starring Leonardo Sbaraglia, Najwa Nimri
Adrián Vega has the ability of foreseeing the future. He joins a group of clairvoyants called Utopia that protects people that will make a difference and learns how to control his power.
YOUR LIFE IN 65’ – Feature
(Original Title: Tu Vida En 65’) – starring Javier Pereira, Marc Rodriguez, Oriol Vial, Irene Montala
3 friends meet for their Sunday ritual: a paella and a dip in the sea. After spotting an obituary for a schoolfriend, they decide to attend, only to realize after the funeral is for a different person.
4 Nominations Barcelona Film Award, winning Best Screenplay. AFI Film Festival, Stockholm Film Festival
FAME, EVERYTHING FOR A DREAM – Documentary
(Original Title: 50 años de … Fama, Todo Por Un Sueño)
Using the upward race towards success and popularity of a young village boy, the director has created a musical film in which she has used fragments of the life of famous people.
CHROMOSOME 5 – Documentary (2013)
(Original Title:Cromosoma 5)
This story begins with Andrea being born. She is premature, beautiful and different. Her parents start a search that lasts more than a year, trying to get a response and a diagnosis.
Grandprix Biofest-Serbia, Malaga Film Festival, Mar de Plata
TRACES OF SANDALWOOD – Feature (2014)
(Original Title: Rastres De Sandal) – starring Nandita Das, Aina Clotet
Two orphan sisters from rural India are separated by force while still children. The older sister escapes poverty to become a famous actress but never forgets about her younger sister. Years later she tracks her down in Barcelona, totally unaware of her true origins.
Audience Award Festival de Montreal 2014, Audience Award Festival Cinequest San Jose de California 2015, Audience Award Festival FIC-CAT 2015, Gaudi Award BEST FILM 2015
IT’S NOW OR NEVER – Feature (2015)
(Original Title: Ahora O Nunca) – starring Dani Rovira, María Valverde, Jordi Sánchez, Clara Lago
A wedding plan goes wrong through a series of misadventures that get increasingly ridiculous as everybody tries to make it to the wedding in one piece.
Montreal Film Festival,Toronto Film Festival,Miami Film Festival
DON’T BLAME IT ON YOUR KARMA – Feature (2016)
(Original Title: No Culpes Al Karma De Lo Que Te Pasa Por Gilipollas) – starring Verónica Echegui, Alex García, Alba Galocha, David Verdaguer, Jordi Sanchez, Elvira Minguez
Saras life, a feather accessory designer, starts to fall apart. No customers, her boyfriend moves to Paris, and the final straw her sister’s new fiancée – Sara’s unrequited high-school crush.
1 Goya Nomination,Miami Film Festival
Cahuenga is a Film Production Company founded in 2004 by Maria Ripoll, providing services for commercials, documentaries and feature Films. Maria Ripoll is the producer of Cahuenga Films with more than 20 years of experience in the film business.
Cahuenga Films entirely produced “UN DESIG/ A WISH”(2009) directed by Maria Ripoll for the CCCB Frankfurt Bookfair and CHROMOSOME 5 (2013) directed by Maria Ripoll and Lisa Pram.
Cahuenga development projects : AGUA EN LA BOCA/ WATER IN THE MOUTH, a fiction series for television and PLAGIO a feature film (DOCU/FICTION)