Venice: Matias Bize’s ‘Water’ Picked Up by Global Screen

Second chance drama follows up ‘The Life of Fish’

MADRID – Germany’s Global Screen has acquired worldwide sales rights to “The Memory of Water,” which stars Elena Anaya, who toplined Pedro Almodovar’s “The Skin I Live In,” and marks Chilean director Matias Bize’s follow-up to “The Life of Fish.”

Deal reps a Venice Fest build-up pact: “Water” is one of the highest-profile titles at 2015’s Venice Days, whose lineup was announced today Friday.

From a screenplay by Bize and regular co-scribe Julio Rojas (“In Bed,” “The Life of Fish”), “The Memory of Water” is the latest film from a leading light in a new generation of Chilean directors – think Pablo Larrain (“No”), Sebastian Lelio (“Gloria”), Alejandro Fernandez Almendras (“To Kill a Man”), Alicia Sherson (“The Future”) — that is making a large festival, critical and sales impact — Variety’s Peter Debruge called “The Life of Fish” stronger than anything he saw at the Sundance Festival in 2011. It also won a best foreign Spanish-language film Spanish Academy Goya in 2011.

Developed at the first Berlinale Residency. “Water” centers on a young couple (Anaya and Benjamin Vicuña) who break up, unable to get over the death — the result of a moment of distraction — of their 4-year-old son.

A chance event prompts them to call each other, meet and travel to southern Chile’s lakes district. There they attempt to heal their relationship.

Before shooting, Bize tpld Variety that “The Memory of Water” was “the biggest challenge yet from any point of view: production, cast numbers and, especially, its depth of sentiment. Every film is more difficult because you want to go one better, go deeper into the subject of relationships.”

Adrian Solar at Chile’s Ceneca Producciones produced “Water” in co-production with Germany’s Niko Film, Spain’s Potenza Producciones and Argentina’s Sudestada Cine.

“I was very happy to come across this beautiful and emotionally gripping project. ‘The Memory of Walter’ is a masterpiece in itself reflecting the tragedy of loss and the inevitable destruction that follows after that,” observed Alice Buquoy, senior sales and acquisitions manager at Global Screen.

“With sensational Elena Anaya — from Pedro Almodovar’s “The Skin I Live In” — in the lead role, it will also have true potential to cross over to broader audiences.”

In terms of theatrical movies, Global Screen handles a varied portfolio of German- and foreign-speaking feature films focusing on commercial arthouse films, family entertainment, and high-profile documentary features. Titles on its current slate include 3D animated feature “Ooops! Noah Is Gone,” from Toby Genkel and Sean McCormack, apocalyptic sci-fi thriller “Sum1” and Dominik Graf’s “Beloved Sisters,” Germany’s submission for the Academy Awards.

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