Interview with Rafa Lis, producer of La Ropavejera

La ropavejeraRafa Lis completed Mega Plus -European Master in Audiovisual Management- in 2012. Since then he has opened his own production company Ryu Media and he has produced two successful short films.

The last one -La Ropavejera- has received numerous awards: Best Short Film at MAC 2014, second prize at FESCIGU 2014, Best Short Film Fantastics 2014, third prize at Villa de la Orotava Short Film Festival 2014 and Best Short Film at Spanisches Filmfest Berlin 2014.

We have interviewed Rafa to learn more about La Ropavejera, about his experience in these two prolific years and about his future plans.


rafa lisLa Ropavejera is based on the same story than La Dona Fosca, the project you brought to Mega Plus 2012, what are your plans for La Dona Fosca?
La Dona Fosca is now named En las Raices del Mal (Blood Nip). It is a feature film with a budget of €2.5 million and we are on the development stage. The script by Joan Marimon and Nacho Ruiperez is on its advanced version of and we have signed a coproduction agreement with two powerful production companies. This mystery film is set in Barcelona in the Sixties and tells the story of Catalan murderer Enriqueta Marti in a very original way.

We are currently looking for investors and we have received a grant for development from the Valencia Film Institute.

How would you describe the production process of this short film? Has it been challenging?

Getting a short film starring Ana Torrent and with a budget of €45.000 off the ground has been an odyssey. We obtained grants from ICAA (Spanish Film Institute) and IVAC (Valencia Film Institute) and we also had private funding. It took us two years of hard work. The pre-production was vital, it helped us optimising resources and plan everything in detail. The shooting was really intense. Having a team of 70 people shooting during 10 days requires a lot logistics. I keep great memories of this unforgettable experience and of the passion and dedication of a team that has left their mark in every aspect of the film.

The postproduction got complicated. Luckily, we could complete it in one of Spain’s best studios, Apuntolapospo (Barcelona). Personally, and as a new producer, it was a magic experience to see their work in a movie theatre with the DOP, the Director and the colorist as it happens with big productions.

Please tell us about the Transmedia aspects of your project.

Creating a community around the project is a key element to grow it, to test the audience and to analyse their priorities and prefferences. We have created a transmedia universe based on murderer Enriqueta Marti that intends to raise interest towards this figure and bring the audience to watch the film.

We began with the production of the short film La Ropavejera, directed by Nacho Ruipérez. At the same time we worked on the creation of the documentary Los Niños de La Ropavejera, directed by Avelina Prat.

There is a comic that, as a prelude, tells the story of the kidnapping of the little girl who is also the main character of the short film. It has been drawn by Miguel Fuster and written by Nacho Ruipérez.

We have also published La Ropavejera: el Génesis del Mal, a 400 page novel that works like a biopic. It is the most complete novel that has been published about Enriqueta Marti up to date.

It is nearly 2 years since Mega Plus 2012, tell us about you since you completed the Master’s programme.
When I had completed the programme it was very clear to me that I wanted to develop and produce my own projects. I was aware of the difficult situation in Spain but I followed my heart and it led me to opening our production company Ryu Media together with my brother. Our first production was the short film Sinside, directed by Miguel Angel Font. In less than one year of distribution it has been selected in over 100 international festivals and it has obtained 12 awards, the last one being the prestigious Melies D’Argent. Sinsinde and La Ropavejera have allowed us to gradually find our place in the industry.

How do you see yourself and your company Ryu Media in the future?
I would like to keep working as a creative producer. My real passion is the project development, working hand-in-hand with the screenwriter and the director.

This is a tough profession but you get great rewards specially in terms of personal communication. Lifelong learning is vital and it makes me value this work more every day.

There is plenty to learn. We would like Ryu Media SL to become a reference within the genre in Spain as Filmax or Vaca Films.

Do you have any tips to share with future participants of Mega Plus?
Believe in yourselves and work each day harder than the previous one. Create a solid network that will help you to co-produce or simply advise you on the different problems that you will find as you go on. There is strength in numbers and Mega Plus is the most powerful talisman you could have found in your way.

Write to every expert and teacher you have met because they love the industry as you do and you have nothing to lose.