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.

Popular on Variety

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.

More Film

  • Bob Chapek Disney CEO

    Why Wall Street Is Unhappy (for Now) With Disney's CEO Change

    We all knew the end was coming. Bob Iger had promised, time and again, that the end was coming. But the rather abrupt announcement Tuesday afternoon that he would relinquish his longtime role as CEO of the Walt Disney Co. — and that theme parks head Bob Chapek would succeed him at the top of [...]

  • Dau

    'DAU. Natasha': Film Review

    There’s a school of critical thought that believes no contextual details or backstory to a film — be they to do with its source material, the circumstances of its production, or its makers’ motivation — should be examined or factored into a review of it, that the final product up on the screen is the [...]

  • The Invisible Man Movie

    Box Office: 'The Invisible Man' Eyes $20 Million-Plus Debut

    With “The Invisible Man,” a terrifying thriller starring Elisabeth Moss, Universal is attempting to revive the cinematic prospects for its classic monster properties. After “The Mummy” with Tom Cruise flamed out theaters in 2017, the studio scraped its plans to form an interconnected Dark Universe and instead retooled its vision to create standalone stories unique [...]

  • Dau

    'Dau' Director Defends Controversial Russian Competition Film: 'It's not Hollywood'

    “Dau. Natasha,” the Russian art project-turned-movie franchise competing at the Berlinale, has triggered headlines in the local and international press over the years due to its epic scale, scenes of graphic violence and anecdotes of an allegedly oppressive work environment for women. Hours before the film’s premiere at a presser on Wednesday, Ilya Khrzhanovsky, who [...]

  • The Trouble With Being Born

    Sandra Wollner on Berlin A.I. Drama 'The Trouble With Being Born'

    At first glance Elli appears to be a normal young girl living with her single father, spending idle afternoons lazing by a sunlit pool. But a disturbing reality is soon revealed: Elli is actually an android whose memories were programmed by the man she lovingly calls “Daddy.” Before long the true nature of their relationship [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content