BUENOS AIRES — In what may be the deal of Ventana Sur, Vicente Canales’ Film Factory Ent. has swooped on Che Sandoval’s “Dry Martina,” marking a first deal announced on a title in the Buenos Aires mart’s Primer Corte and Copia 0.
Chilean Sandoval’s third feature, the dramedy screened late afternoon Thursday at Ventana Sur in Copia O, a section reserved for near complete or finished movies judged to be catnip for international ales agents.
In typical Film Factory-style – when it moves it often does so fast – a deal had been sealed with producers Forestero and Rizoma by early evening.
Film Factory will handle world sales right on a feature which marks a departure and step-up in ambition and international reach for the young Chilean auteur. That cuts several ways.
After first two features – shot on the fly portraits of garrulous, flailing masculinity such as Sandoval’s second feature, “Much Better Than You” an alcohol-sluiced Mumblecore odyssey through Santiago nightlife and portrait of irreparable egomaniacal machismo – “Dry Martina” is Sandoval’s first feature with a female protagonist. She is, moreover, a strong woman who attempts to forge her own destiny.
Here, Antonella Costa (“The Motorcycle Diaries,” “Garage Olimpo”) plays a 35-year-old Argentine singer who is dumped, loses her voice and becomes frigid – until she falls in love/lust with handsome Chilean Carlos. But “the real root of her problems is affection, not sex,” Sandoval has said, and a potential new family their solution.
“Dry Martina” is a film of characters, especially a woman who begins in one place and finishes in another, makes a physical and above all spiritual journey, and is looking for love without realizing it,” said Florencia Larrea, who produced for Forestero with Gregorio González.
A film in its final stretches about the relationship between two women, “Dry Martina” also reps a large step-up in production values, from a long-in-development screenplay, with doctoring by Martin Rejtman (“Rapado,” “Two Shots Fired”), to cinematography by Benjamín Echazarreta, a DoP on Sebastian Lelio’s “A Fantastic Woman” and “Gloria.”
Film Factory’s new buy is also a sterling example of new Latin American cinema, a genre-blending mix practised a lot by Forestero of a popular film audience type, here comedy (but melodrama in Forastero’s “My Tender Matador”) melded with a more upscale form – drama – knit by an auteur’s vision.
Made in international co-production – another Sandoval first – with Natacha Cervi and Hernán Musaluppi’s Rizoma, a bastion of the New Argentine Cinema, the result is a movie which moves Sandoval’s career on from niche indie to open international arthouse.
“‘Dry Martina’ is a film which has different subjects and we wanted it to be entertaining: Buyers were very excited at the end of the market screening. It can be read on multiple levels, turning, for example, on sexuality as self-respect, ” said Larrea.
Film Factory Ent.’s head of sales Toni Oliete added: “‘Dry Martina’ is a fresh and very daring film that is perfect for educated audiences which also want to have a good time in a cinema theater.”