GMFilms will give the film a theatrical release.
Pic centers on 16-year-old Juan Pablo, who travels to the remote family hacienda in the Andes, where his uncle, who is involved in a corruption scandal, has taken refuge with his wife and teenage children. It is the carnival holiday of 1999, days before the collapse of Ecuador’s banking system.
There, Juan Pablo meets Juano, an enigmatic, self-assured black-metal fan from the nearby pueblo, who opens his eyes to a new, liberating universe. As his country and family heads for the abyss, the two boys’ budding friendship develops into a fragile romance, and Juan Pablo is forced to define himself against his chaotic surroundings.
The Ecuador-Argentina co-production, which is produced by Lunafilms Audiovisual, CEPA Audiovisual and Abacafilms, stars Manuel Arregui, Andres Paredes and Manuela Merchan.
Daniele Luppi, who has worked with Norah Jones, Jack White, Ennio Morricone and Gnarls Barkley, composed the score.
The project received the Latin America Media Arts Fund award from the Tribeca Film Institute, and was presented as a work in progress at Ventana Sur and Havana.
Another M-appeal pic world premiering at Berlinale is Adam Csaszi’s “Land of Storms,” which also plays in Panorama. The Hungarian-German co-production is produced by Proton Cinema, I’m Film, Cafe Film and Unafilm.
Pic follows Szabolcs, who plays in a German soccer team, as does Bernard. They are roommates, best friends and inseparable. A lost match and an ugly argument make Szabolcs reconsider his life, and he goes back to Hungary in the hope of a more simple life. Yet his solitude does not last long. Soon after his arrival, he meets Aron, and a mutual attraction develops between them. Szabolcs then receives a phone call from Bernard: he has arrived in Hungary.
M-appeal picked up the film at Cannes, when the pic was in post.
Films from M-appeal’s Raspberry&Cream label include Bruce LaBruce’s “Pierrot Lunaire,” which world premieres as part of Berlin’s Forum Expanded sidebar.
In this refashioned version of a classic love story, Schoenberg’s music and Giraud’s poetry provide the dramatic framework for the tale of Pierrot Lunaire: a young woman, who regularly dresses as a man, falls in love with a girl, who has no clue that her lover is of the same sex. When the girl introduces her “boyfriend” to her father, he becomes suspicious and unmasks the fraud. The “boyfriend” sets out to prove his/her “masculinity.”
The Germany-Canada co-production is produced by Juergen Bruning Filmproduktion and Bruce LaBruce Production.
Another Raspberry&Cream pic world premiering in Panorama is “Fucking Different XXY,” produced by Kristian Peterson.
It is a collection of seven short films by Buck Angel (U.S./Mexico), J.Jackie Baier (Germany), Felix Endara and Sasha Wortzel (U.S.), Kay Garnellen (France), Gwen Haworth (Canada), Jasco Viefhues (Germany) and Mor Vital (Israel).