Tessa Ia Nailea Norvind Set for ‘Hyperballad,’ from Alejandra Villalba García



Tessa Ía, who broke out heading “After Lucía,” Michel Franco’s Cannes winning first feature, is set to star in “Hyperballad,” which offers what is proving one of the most potent mixtures in cutting-edge Latin American film: Genre, ambition, and a first-feature young woman director.

Directed by Alejandra Villalba García, “Hyperballad” (“Hiperbalada”) is lead produced by Hiperbalada, a production house lead by Villalba Garcñia and pic producer Carlos Paz. 

It is co-produced by Mexico’s Piano, behind some of the boldest Mexican movies of recent years, such as the Alfonso Cuarón endorsed “We are the Flesh.” Its cosmopolitan co-production credits run from “Triangle of Sadness” to “Annette” and “Memoria.” Piano’s Julio Chavezmontes will also produce “Hyperballad.”

Sharpening the project’s contempo edge, “Hyperballad” plus the digital world’s angst, psychosis and “phantasmagoria,” in producer Paz’s word. 

Ía will play Tessa, a popular influencer, who returns to her childhood home in Tijuana where she is contacted by @murmur0, a strange YouTuber whose internet profile claims they passed away 8 years ago.

Yet @murmur0 still appears online and communicates with Tessa through disturbing videos. The increasingly strange similarities between @murmur0’s tragic fate and Tessa’s own childhood memories plunge Tessa into a deep paranoia from which she may not be able to escape.

“Hyperballad” is a “hybrid horror film that doubles down on a voyeuristic camera and a disturbing atmosphere to articulate a prevailing generational anxiety: To exist for and be consumed by the gaze of the other,” Paz told Variety.

Building on Villaba García’s short “Microcastillo,” seen at Cannes’ 2o17 Critics’ Week Morelia showcase, the film will up “the ante with a disorienting narrative and a keen insight into the digital phantasmagoria of internet culture,” he added.

The film co-stars Nailea Norvind, Ía’s real life mother with whom she has worked before, as her on-screen mother. “Casting the real-life mother and daughter actresses was an early decision in Alejandra’s writing process, aiming to project a genuine feeling of both tenderness and tension on screen,” said Paz.

In development, with tentative shoot dates of late 2024-early 2025, “Hyperballad” is penned by Villalba García and writing partner Francisco Sánchez de la Vega.

Alejandra Villalba, Carlos Paz
Courtesy of Alejandra Villalba and Carlos Paz


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