Argentine pic lands Italian co-producer

Eduardo Costantini’s Buenos Aires-based Costa Films has inked a co-production deal with Italy’s Produzione Straordinaria on “Do Not Lie to the Devil” which adapts the short story “Death in Midsummer” by Japan’s Yukio Mishima.

“Devil” is already a domestic co-production with Fernando Sokolowicz’s Aleph Media, a well-known Argentine production house (“Heartlift,” “The Hands”).

Argentina’s Luis Ortega is directing. Ortega, whose “Dirty Saints” screened at Toronto in September, co-wrote the screenplay with actor-scribe Alejandro Urdapilleta.

Spanish-language “Devil” began shooting mid-January in Buenos Aires and its province. Post-production will be carried out in Italy.

“Death in Midsummer” is also the name of a short-story collection Mishima published in 1966, four years before his suicide. The story turns on a young middle-class couple vacationing on the Izu Peninsula with their children. When the wife, to escape the heat, leaves her children in the care of her sister-in-law, two of them drown. “Devil” expands outward from where “Midsummer” leaves off, charting the couple’s tragic journey through mourning, as pain and loneliness generate a radical change in their perception of life and even their physical world as their reality is altered permanently.

“Aside from all the pain and anger, it is hard or impossible for them to be part of the world and they become complete outsiders forever,” said Ortega.

Joaquin Furriel (“The Golden Condor,” “Montecristo”) plays the father, Julieta Ortega (“Little Miracles,” “La maestra normal”) the mother.

“Midsummer” marks Ortega’s fourth feature before he turns 30. While both “Saints” and Ortega’s soph feature, “Monobloc,” take place in post-apocalyptic settings and were shot on shoestring budgets, “Midsummer” reps a step up in scale.

“We are very happy to adapt one of Mishima’s masterpieces into a great film,” said Costantini, prexy of Costa Films.

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