Chile's Jirafa taps Matte, raises output

Chile’s Cristian Jimenez, one of Latin America’s up-and-coming directors, is set to direct “Voces en off,” a family dramedy follow-up to breakthrough “Bonsai.”

From a finished original screenplay by Jimenez, the Valdivia-set “Voces” turns on a 35-year-old mother of two whose search for peace of mind is continually frustrated by her sister and children. France’s Rouge Intl., which teamed on “Bonsai,” co-produces.

Jimenez’s second film, “Bonsai” world premiered in Cannes’ 2011 Un Certain Regard to acclaim — Variety called it “one of the finest accomplishments from the freewheeling new generation of Chilean filmmakers.”

“Voces” is just one of six movies set up at Bruno Bettati’s Jirafa Films. In July, the Valdivia-based production house tapped Augusto Matte to help ramp up its slate.

Tom Dercourt’s Paris-based Cinema Defacto (“Adrienn Pal”) will co-produce “The Summer of Flying Fish,” a dark-humored bourgeois family comedy from Marcela Said that rolls Nov. 20 in southern Chile, Matte said at Toronto.

But Matte’s No. 1 mission in Toronto is to tie down a sales agent for Matias Cruz’s completed “Miguel San Miguel,” the story of the creation of Chile’s most famous punk band.

“There’s now a lot of quality product in Chile, its cinema is becoming an export industry, and we can capitalize on that,” Matte said.

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