In a relatively rare documentary pick-up, Paris-based Memento Films Intl. – better known for handling edgier U.S indie fare and fare such as Palme d’Or winner “Winter Sleep” – has acquired world sales rights to Alvaro Longoria’s “The Propaganda Game.”
A vision of North Korea shot largely in North Korea and portraying the country as a battleground for a propaganda war between its ruling regime and a hostile West, “Game” is being brought onto the market by MFI at Berlin’s European Film Market.
“The Propaganda Game” marks the second directorial outing for Longoria, helmer of the Javier Bardem-produced “Sons of the Clouds: The Last Colony” and producer of the Oliver Stone-directed “Comandante” and “Looking for Fidel,” a Fidel Castro docu diptych.
Aided by exclusive access behind the world’s last iron curtain to the official pageants and daily lives of citizens in North Korea, gained via a key facilitator, Spaniard Alejandro Cao de Benos, the only foreigner working for the North Korean government, “The Propaganda Game” follows Longoria as he shoots any scene he wants – on a controlled route around the country. It also portrays Cao de Benos’ remarkable life story, while Longoria wonders to camera if what he’s seeing is to good to be true. “The Propaganda Game” intersperses North Korea’s self-portrayal with often hostile views from multiple Western sources, including a defector, academics and journalists.
“Our goal is not to discover the absolute truth about North Korea, but to make the audience see a reality full of half-truths and many lies, allowing them to reach their own conclusion: We are all victims of propaganda,” Longoria comments.
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“The Propaganda Game” is produced by Longoria through Morena Films, plus Alexandra Lebret and Tanja Georgieva, and backed by Paris-based financier-consultancy Backup Media Group.