Chile banner walks with ‘Blind Christ’

Shingle reteams with Murray for his second film

EXCLUSIVE– Chile’s Jirafa Films, producer of Saturday’s Un Certain Regard player “Bonsai,” is re-teaming with Christopher Murray for his second film, “The Parable of the Blind Christ.”

Rapidly emerging as a major art film force in Latin America, itself a rising regional film power, the Bruno Bettati-headed Jirafa produced Murray’s debut, Rotterdam fest player “Manuel Ribera,” co-directed by Pablo Carrera.

“Parable” turns on a preacher who performed a real miracle in his youth but now wanders Chile’s northern desert creating his own stories.

The Murray-written “Parable”‘s first-draft script has been pre-selected by Amsterdam’s BingerLab.

Cameras also roll in March 2012 on black-humored bourgeois family dramedy “The Summer of Flying Fish,” the fiction feature debut of Marcela Said, whose third documentary, “The Young Butler,” played Berlin’s 2011 Forum.

Led by “El futuro,” Alicia Sherson’s awaited adaptation of Roberto Bolano’s novella, “Una novelita lumpen,” Jirafa productions include Matias Cruz’s debut “Miguel San Miguel,” a rock band saga, historical docu “Terra Incogita,” from Luis Alarcon, in development at the 2011 Eurodoc workshop, and Alejo Cristostomo’s troubled priest drama, “Faith,” now in post.

Also in post: “From Rock to Eternity,” a “very abstract, even psychedelic road movie-rockumentary,” said Bettati, following French-Chilean punk band Panico to the northern Chilean desert.

Panico contributed four songs to “Bonsai.”

Usually co-producing Chilean auteur-driven projects, and tapping into Chile’s ever-deeper talent pool – – Jirafa has produced a bevy of festival standouts: “Optical Illusions,” “Bonsai” director Cristian Jimenez’s first feature, Alejandro Fernandez Almendras’ Critics’ Week player “Huacho,” and Jose Luis Torres Leiva’s “The Sky, the Earth and the Rain,” also at Rotterdam.

But challenges remain, according to Bettati: Hiking Chilean domestic market-share; breaking out from extensive festival play to significant international distribution via strong sales agents.

Directors’ must leverage their talent into increased distribution, Bettati said.

“Chilean producers have to have a profile on sales, not only on fund-raising and partnering with European and Asian companies,” he added.

France’s Rezo, a strong Paris-based sales co, has taken international on “Bonsai,” aiding financing. It’s a step in the right direction.

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