MARCO BERGER

Argentine helmer swaps to sci-fi fantasy, with Salas and De Pietro

RIO DE JANEIRO – Marking an early career departure, Argentine scribe-helmer Marco Berger (“Plan B,” “Absent,” “Hawai”) will roll in February on “Butterfly.”

After three different takes on homoeroticism, played for comedy in “Plan B,” suspense in “Absent” and as a reflection on power-play in “Hawai,” “Butterfly” is a non-gay sci-fi fantasy played out in two parallel worlds, one dramatic, the other more comedic, where the Butterfly Effect gives two lovers a new possibility of love.

Ailin Salas, a much-sought after actress who has appeared in films by Lucia Puenzo (“XXY,” “The Fish Girl”), Pablo Fendrik (“Blood Appears”), Milagros Mumenthaller (“Back To Stay”) and most recently Santiago Palavecino (“Some Girls) will star along side Javier de Pietro, the young co-star of “Absent.”  “Butterfly is set-up at Buenos Aires-based Oh My Gomez! Films, which was created to produce “Plan B,” and also made “Absent,” Berger said at the Rio Festival, where he presented “Hawaii.”

“Butterfly” will be his first film to pull down a state subsidy from Argentina’s Incaa Film Institute, he added.

Lensing in Buenos Aires and its environs, his fourth film will also be his largest.

“My films have traditionally had two characters, one location. ‘Butterfly’ is not really big, but we do have different locations – we have to shoot in the mountains. And it creates two universes,” Berger said.

With his first three films, Berger has created a “signature label” in queer cinema, said sales agent, Ida Martins at Media Luna New Films.

He has also cultivated an overseas market presence: Media Luna has sold “Hawaii” to Artsploitation for North America, Pro-Fun for German-speaking territories, and Palmera Intl. for Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, Martins said.

She added she is in negotiations for three other sales.

“Butterfly” looks likely to target different industry and retail audiences.

One upside for Berger, who sees himself as “a better writer than a filmmaker, focusing on the story and the actors,” is that “Butterfly” looks set to usher in some formal flourishes.

“The fantastic thing is that I’ll shoot the same story in two different ways. So if I need a blue car in one universe, I’ll need the same car, but in red, in the other.”

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