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FiGa Ups Ante With Geraldine Chaplin Pic ‘Sand Dollars’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Brazil sale to Dominican Republic-set 'Sand Dollars' likely to close at Rio Film Fest

Los Angeles-based sales and distribution company FiGa Films is taking the Geraldine Chaplin-toplined “Sand Dollars” to Brazil where it expects to close a sale. FiGa started sales talks in Toronto after it acquired worldwide rights to the Dominican Republic-set drama just before Cannes.

“We have had some solid interest from France, the U.K., and Brazil,” said FiGa founder Sandro Fiorin, who adds that the pic will close the Sao Paolo Intl. Film Fest to time with Chaplin’s availability.

“Sand Dollars” (Dolares de Arena), helmed and produced by Dominican couple Laura Amelia Guzman and Israel Cardenas (“Cochochi”), is based on the novel “Les Dollars des Sables” by Jean-Noel Pancrazi. Drama explores the complex relationship between a lonely French woman, played by Chaplin, and a young Dominican some 50 years her junior – played by newcomer Yanet Mojica — who is ambivalent about her feelings for the woman she exploits.

DR’s Aurora Dominicana, Mexico’s Canana Films and Argentina’s Rei Cine co-produced the drama.

FiGa Films heads to Rio with various Brazilian titles under its new FiGa/Br banner, launched in Cannes. Its Rio slate includes Gregorio Gaziosi’s “Obra,” the only Brazilian film in Toronto this year, and Daniel Aragao’s “I Swear I’ll Leave This Town,” which world premieres in Rio. Both “Obra” and “I Swear…” are competing in the festival’s Premiere Brasil. FiGa/Br also brings Davi Pretto’s debut feature “Castanha” and Marcelo Grabowsky’s short “Cloro” to the fest.

FiGa serves as an associate producer on “Castanha.” “I became friends with the director and mentored him into transforming the original idea (as a short) into a full-fledged feature,” said Fiorin. Film debuted at the Berlinale, where it was snapped up by Germany’s Arsenal Distribution.

“We are constantly searching for new talent before they enter the international festival world. It’s FiGa’s main mission to launch new careers (for both labels),” said Fiorin, citing relatively recent finds Nicolas Pereda, Julio Hernandez Cordon, Gabriel Mascaro and Dominga Sotomayor.

FiGa’s non-Brazilian titles in Rio include Colombian pic “Los Hongos” by Oscar Ruiz Navia and “Somos Mari Pepa,” a teen drama helmed by Mexico’s Samuel Kishi Leopo.

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