SAN SEBASTIAN – Rolling out more deals across a slate with a significant Latin American presence, Berlin-based M-Appeal has kicked in deals on Carlos Machado Quintela’s “The Project of the Century,” a Rotterdam Hivos Tiger and Toulouse CineLatino Fipresci winner.
Lead-produced by Natalia Cervi, Hernan Musaluppi and Pablo Chernov at Argentine arthouse powerhouse Rizoma, “Project” has been licensed by M-Appeal to Poland’s. Deal includes a theatrical release, unusual on art films for Poland.
Beyond Rizoma, “Project” is co-produced by Germany’s Raspberry & Cream, Cuba’s Uranio and Switzerland’s Ventura Films. It won a grant for Euros 35,000 ($47,320) in the Berlinale’s World Cinema Fund’s.
A chronicle of disillusionment, which was penned by Quintela and Abel Arcos, “Project” is set within Cuba’s Nuclear City, the site of Latin America’s first nuclear power plant which, since the collapse of the Soviet Union, has been left unfinished, forcing its inhabitants, mostly scientists, to pursue other forms of gainful employment, such as raising pigs.
In this context, “Project” focuses on a grandfather, sunk sinking into ever more cantankerous moods, his son, also a divorcee, whose g.f. ratchet’s up domestic tensions, and grandson, Leonardo, who flees back to the family home post-divorce.
In an unusual technique, Quintela films the ultra humdrum present in widescreen monochrome, in vast contrast with not only the triumphalism but full-color palette of small-screen Soviet-Cuba propaganda films, made in the 1980s, harping on the joys of the two countries’ collaboration.
Quintela’s sophomore outing after “The Swimming Pool,” which bowed in Berlin’s Panorama section, “The Project of the Century” plays Wednesday and Thursday at San Sebastian.