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Asylum,’ ‘X Quinientos,’ ‘Lacrimosa’ Bow at Locarno

Colombian project trio part of novel tie-up between Bogota Audiovisual Market (BAM) and Swiss Fest

LOCARNO — In a first-time link up, “Asylum,” “X Quinientos” (pictured) and “Lacrimosa,” all projects pitched at mid-July’s Bogota Audiovisual Market (BAM), will be presented by their two producers at the Locarno Festival’s Industry Days, which kick off Saturday at the Swiss festival.

Selection for Locarno establishes the three titles as among the most attractive at BAM, in terms of co-production potential and international sales potential. One, “X Quinientos” is already lead-produced by Canada’s Peripheria Films and has been structured as a pioneering, three-way pan-Americas production. “Asylum” is a buzz title, tracked by potential U.S. partners.

Producers Diana Bustamante and Jorge Andres Botero, two of Colombia’s most active international co-producers, will be attending Locarno.

Produced by Bustamante’s Burning Blue (“Crab Trap,” “La Playa”) and Rhayuela (“Rhayuela”), plus France’s CineSud Promotion, and Osorio’s follow-up to his debut, the Wild Bunch-sold “El Paramo,” in an instance of a burgeoning sub-genre, post-civil-conflict Colombian cinema, “Asylum” turns on a teen hesitating between avenging his best friend’s murder or saving the life of an asylum inmate whom he falls in love with. Burning Blue’s Diana Bustamante accepted the prize.

Set in Mexico, Canada and Colombia, “X Quinientos’’’ three intertwining stories turn on individuals – a Buenaventura drug cartel member in the Colombian story, a boy in an indigenous Mexican community who finds belonging and respect as a punk in Mexico City; the grand-daughter of a Filipino maid in Canada – who, after a loved one’s death, go through physical transformation.

Charting geographic and physical change, and ranging over the Americas, “X Quinientos” captures populations in a humane battle for betterment.

Peripheria Films produces with Botero’s Septima Films and Mexico’s Machete Producciones.

Also Locarno-bound and set up at Septima, Simon Paetau’s “Lacrimosa” is a friendship drama, turning on three transgender women and set in a bohemian barrio of Bogota.

Paetau, who portrayed transgender characters in previous films – “Mila Caos,” “Posh” – developed “Lacrimosa” at the Cannes Festival’s Cinefondation Residence.

“It is a perfect time to establish this cooperation between BAM and Locarno,” enthused Andres Bayona, executive director of the Bogota Audiovisual Market, in a statement. The tie-up comes after Locarno’s Industry Days in 2011 picked Colombia for its Carte Blanche spotlight dedicated to pics in post seeking completion financing.

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