Carmelita, Irusoin, Ciudad Lunar Team on

Spaniard Pedro Aguilera’s third film takes him to Colombia

MADRID – Underscoring Colombia’s growing attraction as a co-production partner, shoot locale and source of artistic inspiration which goes beyond the typical topics of drugs, civil conflict and dirt poverty, Jorge Manrique Behrens’ Madrid-based Carmelita Films and Bilbao’s Irusoin are teaming with Colombia’s Ciudad Lunar Producciones to produce “Sister of Mine,” which aims to shoot in Colombia next year.

Introduced to the market at San Sebastian’s Europe-Latin America Co-production Forum, “Sister of Mine” was presented at Small is Biutiful co-pro meet in Paris.

A film that brings an arthouse sensibility and sophistication to a work which charts the drivers and limits of eroticism,

“Sister of Mine” marks the third feature from Spain’s Pedro Aguilera, who burst onto the scene in 2007 with Cannes Directors’ Fortnight entry “The Influence.”

Karma Films has signed to distribute “Sister” in Spain. As part of their co-production participation, Irusoin, headed by Fernando Larrondo and Inaki Gomez, will provide post-production services at their Basque Country-based studios. “Sister” pulled down production finance from the Ibermedia co-production fund last November.

Written with Spanish novelist Juan Carlos Sampedro, who teamed with Aguilera on his first short, “The Deal,” “Sister” turns on “Oliver,” a young film director who discovers an erotic video on the Internet starring his younger half-sister, Aurora. Surprised and confused, he decides to visit her shortly afterwards, even though she lives in Colombia. In the process of finding out what she’s up to he becomes fascinated by Aurora.

At one point in “Sister,” Oliver manages to secrete a hidden camera in his sister’s bedroom that records everything that happens in her room.

“It’s as if the Michael Powell of ‘Peeping Tom’ went drinking with Mike Leigh and they made ‘Naked’ together,” Aguilera told Variety, adding that the film will be lush colored and Oliver a superficial, cynical dilettante who “pushes the envelope as a director and in his own private life, and that will cost him dear.”

Aguilera’s “Influence” was co-produced out of Mexico by celebrated director Carlos Reygadas and his producer partner Jaime Romandia after Aguilera worked on Reygadas’ “Battle in Heaven.” But it was shot in Spain.

“As a Spaniard, I was interested in charting the differences between Europe and Latin America, shooting in Latin America, which shares our language but in many ways is different. I’d like to shoot in a space I can’t call my own,” Aguilera said.

“Sister of Mine” also turns in part on invasions, he added. “It’s about a European who invades Colombia, a brother who invades his half-sister’s life and a camera which invades her privacy.”

In at least two ways, “Sister” can be called a highly modern film. As an increasing number of movies, it’s portrays Latin America’s burgeoning middle-classes, rather than victims of its grinding poverty; part of the erotic relation between Aurora and Oliver is conducted by video, not physical contact.

Carmelita Films co-produced Colombian Alejandro Landes’ 2011 Directors’ Fortnight entry “Porfirio” and his 2007 Sundance docu “Cocalero,” about Evo Morales.

Ciudad Lunar produced Ciro Guerra’s 2004 “La sombra del caminante” and 2009 Cannes Un Certain Regard player “The Wind Journeys,” plus Ivan Wild’s “Edificio Royal” last year.

“’Sister of Mine’ has a highly interesting look, is a very personal film, probing, unsettling, about human nature, family relations and inner demons,” said Ciudad Lunar’s Cristina Gallego.

She added: “Colombia’s film industry is still growing. Auteur films are few and far between. But though this is a personal film, it traps the audience through its protagonists, so that an intimate film also creates suspense, while it’s disturbing at one and the same time.”

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