Jirafa readies Leiva’s ‘Groenlandia’

Chilean helmer's 'Flying Fish' is featured at Berlin's Co-Prod Market

Bruno Bettati’s Jirafa Films, whose “The Summer of Flying Fish” is at the Berlinale Co-Production Market, is readying “Groenlandia,” helmer Jose Luis Torres Leiva third film.

Set in the Valdivia mountains at the lakeside village of Puerto Fuy, pic follows a 73-year-old retiree whose much younger g.f. announces she’s pregnant.

“The landscape is again a character in Torres Leiva’s film, but ‘Groenlandia’ will be more dramatic and actor-driven, and use professional actors,” Bettati said.

A black-humored family dramedy, “Flying Fish,” is the fiction debut of Chilean-French helmer-scribe Marcela Said, whose third documentary, “The Young Butler,” played Berlin’s 2011 Forum.

“Fish” has pulled down Chilean subsidy funding plus coin from France’s new World Cinemas Aid scheme. It will begin lensing in November, said Bettati, who, with Sergio Gandara, has stepped down as exec director at film promotion board CinemaChile. Chilean TV producer Constanza Arena has replaced them.

Chilean cinema seems to be coming of age with projects including “Groenlandia,” Pablo Larrain’s Gael Garcia Bernal-starrer “No” and Alicia Scherson’s “The Future,” with Rutger Hauer, which Jirafa co-produces, blending art and a commercial tilt. Bettati noted that “five years ago, we were looking for funding and funding and funding and sales were something you achieved afterwards.”

Now, he said, Chilean producers lock in sales agents before a film is finished.

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