ROSA gets silver-screen deal

20th Century Fox has obtained the rights to ROSA, a short science fiction film released last month by Spanish comic book artist Jesús Orellana.

ROSA was shown at several short-film festivals, including SIFF and Toronto After Dark, and has received much critical praise acclaim, which Fox obviously noticed.

Fox has turned over production to one of their smaller banners, Genre Films along with producer Simon Kinberg, who will get some help from I AM Entertainment’s Scott Glassgold and Raymond Brothers to make the film happen.

The best part of the deal, for Orellana, is that they’ve brought him on as the original creator of the film to direct. Of course, Fox will be hiring its own screenplay writer to flesh out the plot and pace it like a feature film.

The short-film is Orellana’s first venture into film-making, and he produced, wrote, and directed the entire film himself (he didn’t even need any actors) with the express purpose of showing studios that he knows what he’s doing, a strategy which seems to have worked quite well.

The synopsis of the original short film is thus:

ROSA is an epic sci-fi short film that takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where all natural life has disappeared. From the destruction awakes Rosa, a cyborg deployed from the Kernel project, mankind’s last attempt to restore the earth’s ecosystem. Rosa will soon learn that she is not the only entity that has awakened and must fight for her survival.

More exciting than the film itself – who knows what it will look like when Hollywood is done with it – is what this says for the future of film-making. The original short was made with a budget of more or less zero. Orellana used a computer he already had, and only his own time to make the film from scratch, so why does it still cost $50m for Hollywood to make even the most minor films, and over $200m to make the big blockbusters? Maybe it shouldn’t anymore.

No production or release dates have been yet announced for the feature adaptation of ROSA.