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Graffitdoc, Tambour link on ‘Clouds’

Human dramas stand out at Doc BsAs/Latin Side of the Doc

BUENOS AIRES — Italy’s Graffitidoc and France’s Les Films du Tambour du Soie will produce “Higher than the Clouds,” a record of 23-year-old Peruvian Geo Chavez’s dangerous attempt in 1910 to cross the Alps in a canvas-paneled aircraft.

Combining never-seen footage, interviews and original animation, which will recreate eye-witnesses’ documented accounts, “Clouds” will go into production February.

Directed by Fredo Valla, “Clouds” is also backed by Gallic docu channel Planete, Milan’s Museo della Scienza, Pdff, and the PACA Provence, Alpes and Cote d’Azur film authorities.

Pitched by Graffitdoc producer Erica Capra, who also screened a trailer, “Clouds” proved one of the best-received docu projects pitched through Thursday at the 2nd Latin Side of the Doc/Doc Buenos Aires docu forum.

“Clouds” repped one docu form that nowadays gets buyers’ pulses racing: A compelling human drama with strong narrative thrust, set in a clear intellectual framework.

In the case of “Clouds,” Capra said, the Belle Epoque-set docu captures “the end of an epoch that sustained the romantic idea of progress.”

Other memorable human stories reaped applause at LSD/DBA: To be directed by Amandine Poirson, and produced by France’s Abacaris Films, “Erika’s Destiny” investigates the fate of a 22-year-old Mexican mother of two who dropped dead from thirst and exhaustion crossing the Arizona desert to join her husband in Chicago.

Mexico-U.S. migration movies fall off trees these days: ” ‘Destiny’s’ originality is its planned use of vidcam footage Erika filmed about her life in Mexico.

Developed with coin from the U.S. Independent Television Service, “Avant,” the chronicle of ballet dancer Julio Bocca’s attempt to reboot Uruguay’s National Ballet, sparked ardent expressions of interest from Arte France, the Sundance Institute and sales agent Wide Management, whose Anais Clanet is fast building new docu sales label Wide House.

Shots of Bocca putting two young dancers through their paces with graceful genius looked extraordinary.

Also provoking upbeat reactions were Jorge Caballero’s “Birth,” from Colombia’s Gusano Films, a resonant expose of public hospitals’ maternity wards; “Anatomia,” produced by Argentina’s Paula Zyngierman, where 16 people in eight Latin American countries reveal whether they’ve achieved their life goals; and Reinaldo Sagbini and Andrew Tucker’ “The Grand Voyage of the Accordion.” Co-produced by Germany’s Aurora and Autocar 13, and Colombia’s Ciudad Lunar, “Accordion” narrates Colombian accordion maestro Manuel Vega’s quest to finally win Colombia’s Vallenato music festival.

One piece of classic investigative journalism did seduce buyers: Les Films d’Ici’s Charlotte Uzu scored a direct hit with “The Election of a Pope,” bre-bought by Polish pubcaster TVP off Uzu’s pitch.

A docu with attitude, it sets out to explain, according to a teaser at least, the arcane non-democratic process of papal election and “how and why did the cardinals elect such an uncharismatic man” as Benedict XVI?

Jacques Debs directs; Palomar, producers of Mario Martone’s “Noi credevamo,” will co-produce out of Italy, Uzu said.

Three buzzed-about projects — Carmen Castillo’s “Underground Notebooks,” the Flach-Film produced “Inside Al Qaeda,” and Celina Murga’s “Normal School” — are to be presented Friday, the last day of LSD/BDA.

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