L.A.-based company E Squared and sound supervisor Tobias Poppe have joined the international co-production “Retablo” (Story Box), a coming-of-age drama which marks Peruvian writer-director Alvaro Delgado-Aparicio’s feature film debut.
Set-up at Lima-based Siri Producciones, the co-production also teams France’s EZ Films and Norway’s Dag Hoel Filmprod. Currently in post, after rolling for six weeks from April in the Andean highlands of Ayacucho, “Retablo” boast a high-profile Peruvian cast, led by Magaly Solier (“Milk of Sorrow,” “Magallanes”) and Amiel Cayo (“The Debt”). The film also toplines debutante actor Junior Bejar Roca.
Sound supervisor Tobias Poppe, in collaboration with E Squared, the company behind Hollywood films and franchises such as “Godzilla,” “Argo,” “Transformers,” and “Kung Fu Panda,” is co-producing “Retablo” in return for its sound services, Poppe told Variety.
“Retablo” is set in a rural community outside Lima, where Segundo Paucar, a 14-year-old-boy, wants to become a master story box maker, just like his father, in order to carry on the family tradition.
On his way to a community celebration in the Andes, he accidentally observes his father in a situation that shatters his whole world. Trapped in a chauvinistic environment, Segundo will try to deal in silence with all that is happening to him.
An organizational psychologist, Delgado-Aparicio wrote and directed the award-winning short film “El Acompañante,” a 2013 Sundance player, which competed at more than 80 international festivals.
During “El Acompañante’s” festival career, “we were able to meet several key people with whom we are now collaborating on ‘Retablo,’ in terms of co-production,” Delgado-Aparicio told Variety.
Tobias Poppe, whose recent credits include “Need for Speed,” felt attracted by “the very moving and character-driven story and everything that comes with setting up a story in such an exotic and beautiful location like the Andes.”
“We are especially looking forward to making the world of the Andes come alive in its sounds, carrying the emotions of the characters, carving out fragile nuances to show their inner conflicts,” he added.
Co-penned by Delgado-Aparicio, alongside writer-director Hector Galvez (“NN”), “Retablo” was picked up by Sundance for its June 2013 Screenwriters Lab and continues to receive mentorship there.
Backed by the DAFO Peruvian Film Fund and the Sorfond Norwegian South Film Fund, the film also received support from the Cinereach Project at the Sundance Institute and the New Cinema Network at the Rome Film Festival.
According to Delgado-Aparicio, the Dardenne brothers and Abbas Kiarostami were top inspirations for “Retablo,” because of the “honesty of their stories and how they tell them.” He aims to launch the film at an international film festival and release it in Peruvian theaters by mid-2017.