LIMA – Colombian helmer Felipe Guerrero’s feature debut “Oscuro Animal” is slated to bow in Argentina and Colombia in the fall. It has already debuted in Mexico where it won a raft of awards at the 2016 Guadalajara Int’l Film Fest, including Best Ibero-American Film, director and actress for all three actresses in the near dialogue-free triptych.
Guerrero’s production-distribution company Mutokino Films will release his pic on an alternative film circuit in Colombia while Obra Cine handles theatrical distribution in Argentina.
Co-produced by Argentina’s Gema Juarez Allen of Gema Films, Guerrero’s Mutokino along with producers from Holland (Viking), Germany (Sutor) and Greece (Boo), “Oscuro Animal” will vie for the big prize at the 20th Lima Film Festival’s official competition. Juarez Allen is a juror on the festival’s documentary section; one of its actresses, Marleyda Soto, is in Lima to rep the drama.
An editor by profession with some notable Latin American pics to his credit, this is Guerrero’s first fiction feature, after having tried his hand at documentaries with “Paraiso” and “Corta.” Both are devoid of talking heads and like “Oscuro Animal” shirk dialogue.
“The lack of dialogue is an important metaphor for the silence of the victims,” said Guerrero. Based on true stories about the massacre of villagers in Colombia, “Oscuro Animal” dwells on three women who flee to the capital of Bogota to escape the jungle warfare and men’s violence.
Gema Films and Mutokino are handling international sales, with Denmark and Benelux territories already sold, said Guerrero.
“Oscuro Animal” is Guerrero’s first fiction feature, while it’s the second fiction feature for producer Juarez Allen who has a string of documentary credits to her name. “It was a demanding shoot in remote areas but it went quite smoothly; we put the financing together quite quickly,” said Juarez Allen.
Juarez Allen is currently developing live action kid- targeted documentary “Kro-Goo-Phant” with Victor Kossakovsky, whose fiction feature “Vivan las Antipodas” – which opened Venice in 2011 – was a Gema Films co-production.
A co-production with Norway’s Sant Usant, “Kro-Goo-Phant” (as in crocodile, kangaroo and elephant) will shoot in India, Norway and Argentina, said Juarez Allen, who next partners on “La Cama” the fiction feature debut of Monica Lairana, which starts shooting in Argentina in October. Budgeted at $500,000, “La Cama” (“The Bed”) pivots on the last weekend together of a 65-year old couple about to divorce.
Gema Films is also co-producing Panamanian Abner Benaim’s next fiction feature, “Plaza Catedral” which centers on a recently divorced man grieving for his late son who finds new meaning in life after an encounter with an injured street child.
“I see him like a character in a Polanski or Heneke film, but in a tropical setting,” said Benaim who describes it as a drama with some thriller elements.
Production of “Plaza Catedral,” which snagged the VFF Highlight Pitch award at Berlin’s co-production mart, has been shifted to next year because additional funding from Panama was delayed due to the freezing of the national film fund by its new government.
Meanwhile, Gema Films is boarding two other features, details to be disclosed at a later date, and is in post on two docus: “Soldado” by Argentine Manuel Abramovich, who made the multi-award winning short, “La Reina,” and “Veteranos” by Lola Arias, Argentina’s most prominent playwright, which features veterans from both sides of the Falklands war and bows in Argentina on April 2, the 35th anniversary of the devastating South Atlantic islands dispute between the U.K. and Argentina.