Charlemagne’s army is devastating the Pyrenees. In an attempt to challenge this onslaught, the highlander leader of the valley asks for help from the ancestral gods of his lands, whose disappearance, brought about by the arrival of Christianity, is imminent. After swearing a blood oath, he manages to defeat the enemy in exchange for his life. But before his death, he makes his son, Eneko, promise that he will be a good leader for the valley.
Years later and now a grown man of Christian faith, Eneko is preparing to fulfill his promise when, in strange circumstances, his father’s buried body and the treasure captured from the Franks disappears, casting serious doubts on his lineage. If Eneko is to fulfill his destiny, he will have to recover them and so he enlists the help of a young, local, pagan woman called Irati. The two of them will have to journey deep into a strange and inhospitable forest, where everything that has a name exists.
Irati is the historical, medieval, adventure-fantasy story that I’ve always wanted to tell. I’ve always been fascinated by Basque mythology and Irati is an epic homage to that dark and fascinating world of legend. I have taken loose inspiration from the characters that appear in the graphic novel The Cycle of Irati, by J. L. Landa and J. Muñoz, as well as other Basque legends and historical events, such as the battle of Roncesvalles.
The movie is about a young, nobleman named Eneko, who has to prove his courage if he is to become leader of the valley like his father. In order to do this, he will have to enter a strange and mysterious world, one filled with ancient, mythological deities. On his journey, he will be accompanied by a young, local, pagan woman called Irati.
Eneko and Irati belong to different worlds, hold different beliefs and each have their own mission and their own destiny. When their paths cross, their fate will be called into question and they will have to choose between their duty and that which they truly desire.
The film is set in the Basque Pyrenees during the 8th century. A dark, but fascinating period in the Middle Ages, where the dominant religions (Christianity and Islam) are fighting with one another, causing the pagan belief system, filled with arcane deities linked to nature, to slowly disappear. This is a world in which, as the old Basque saying goes: “Everything that has a name exists”.
Gorza – Agerraldi berezia
Paul Urkijo Alijo was born in Vitoria-Gasteiz (Basque Country), in 1984. From an early age, he was passionate about cinema, illustration, literature, comics and the fantasy genre. He especially enjoyed reading myths and traditional fairy tales.
In 2008, he graduated with a degree in Fine Arts and began working professionally in audiovisual production, illustration and computer graphics. It was here that he first started to write and produce his own fictional and animated short films.
In 2016, he wrote, produced and directed his first feature-length film, Errementari. A fantasy film based on the Basque folk tale Patxi Errementaria. The films he has written and directed have won more than 130 national and international awards and have been selected over 400 times at festivals around the world.
El bosque negro (2013)
Los monstruos no existen (2011)
Ohe azpiko Zera (2010)
Playing with Death(2010)
Cuchillo, McGregor y el vasco (2008)
El pez plomo (2007)
On Saturday June 24 Irati was awarded two trophies at the Grossmann Festival
After its presentation at the Dark Bridges Festival – a fantastic film festival that takes place in Canada-, Irati solidifies its position as one of the referent movies in the fantasy genre in 2023.
From last Friday May 5th, Prime Video subscribers in Spain can enjoy Irati in the platform.
Paul Urkijo Alijo (Errementari)
Paul Urkijo Alijo (Errementari)
Iñaki Buruchaga (Airbag), Joanjo Landa (Airbag) & Paul Urkijo (Errementari)
Miguel Menéndez de Zubillaga (Boundless)
Jone Miren Goenaga
Javier Arsuaga (Errementari, The Machine, Warriors and Baby)
Director of Photography:
Gorka Gómez Andreu (ASC) (Errementari, Window to the Sea and Seagull)
Mikel Serrano (Goya for Coven and The Giant)
Nere Torrijos (Goya for Coven and Errementari)
David Heras (Goya for The Giant and Errementari)
Head of Direct Sound:
Sound Design and Mixing:
Iosu González (Errementari)
Aranzazu Calleja y Maite Arroitajauregi (Goya for Coven and The Platform)
Pedro Rodríguez (Goya for The Last Circus, 30 Coins and Errementari)
Jon Serrano (Goya for The Giant and Coven)
Ricardo Cruz (Kingdom of Heaven, The Last Duel and Exodus)
Maite Arroitajauregi and Aranzazu Calleja
DIRECTOR DE CINE
Miguel Ángel Romero
Since time began, legends, fairy tales and songs, which tell us about the ancient, pagan world of our ancestors in the territory we live in, have been passed down to us. Basque culture is full of rich myths and legends, which make up a cosmogony of magical gods and deities… Deities which are mainly related to the natural environment of our land: the forests where the Jentiles (the giant builders) live, the caves where Sugaar (the serpent-man from the depths) sleeps and the imposing mountains, home to the Goddess Mari, ultimate representative of Ama Lurra (Mother Earth) who, shrouded in fire, looks down on us and rewards the just and punishes the evil.
Our ancestors lived side by side with these mythological beliefs and used them as a way to answer existential questions. Every phenomenon, or element from their surroundings, was considered sacred and everything had a name. From here comes the expression that every Basque knows: “Izena duen guztia, bada” (Everything that has a name exists).
This also demonstrates the existence of a matriarchal religion, where the goddess mother is the highest authority and the mystery of giving life the biggest enigma. Earth and all of creation was made up of the same substance as the goddess mother: the original myth of all the world’s cultures, which was slowly replaced by the idea of masculine divinity, demystifying nature and the vision of life as one, whole entity.
We are lucky enough to be able to conserve small fragments of that belief in our mythology and through Irati ,my aim is to pay homage to it and to maintain the fascination and respect that the mother of all the world’s beliefs deserves.
Irati is the most ambitious film to be made in Spain in recent years, both in terms of the scale of the production and its fantasy-epic genre. It is the first ever Medieval ‘sword and sorcery’ movie to be made in the country.
A film of battles, spectacular locations and an ambitious production design, all of which have been made possible thanks to the support of organizations and TV companies such as ICAA, the Basque Government, EITB, RTVE, the Provincial Council of Álava, the Council of Vitoria-Gasteiz and the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa.
Besides the talented director, Paul Urkijo, we have been blessed with a first-class crew, many of whom are Goya Award winners in their fields. With such an outstanding team, the quality of this ambitious project is guaranteed.
The post-production stage is equally ambitious, in terms of the large amount of VFX in the movie: the mythological creatures such as the gigantic Sugaar, the mysterious Basajaun or the powerful goddess of fire, Mari, played by Itziar Ituño. On top of this, there are also meteorologic VFX, clean-up of on-screen objects and historical reconstructions.
And let’s not forget the thrilling soundtrack and superb sound editing with Dolby Atmos. Irati has been designed to be no less than an epic experience.
Irati is a film born from local legends, but whose nature is international. Our desire is for it to reach homes all around the world.
Official & limited edition Irati Film t-shirt:
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