Miami-based FiGa Films has acquired world sales rights to “Tesoros” from Maria Novaro, Mexico’s most prominent female director.
“Tesoros” will world-premiere in February in the Berlin Film Festival’s Generation Kplus lineup. FiGa will introduce the film to buyers there at the European Film Market.
“Tesoros” marks the latest movie from Novaro, whose earliest features, 1989’s “Lola” and 1991’s “Danzon,” helped usher in the first of Mexican’s modern new cinemas waves, whose exponents also included Alfonso Cuaron and Guillermo del Toro. Like all Novaro’s films, it charts a journey – or several, beginning with tween Andrea; Dylan, an imaginative child about six years old; and Lucas, a toddler,who all move with their parents to a beach house in Barra de Potosi, a village on Mexico’s Pacific Coast north of Acapulco.
It then charts a second: the kids’ integration in a close-knit seaside community and their discovery of nature as Dylan, who thinks he’s seen explorer Francis Drake’s ghost, leads a leisurely treasure hunt for the pirate’s treasure trove. “What they are about to find is something more valuable,” runs the film’s synopsis, which calls “Tesoros” a film “for children, their parents and their grandparents.”
Produced by Cine Ermitano’s Pamela Guinea, with whom Sandro Fiorin’s FiGa worked on “Marimbas From Hell,” Novaro’s sixth feature, “Tesoros” puts kids center stage; grownups hardly appear in frame. In its visuals, it may be more of a piece with Novaro’s 20o0 road movie “Leaving No Trace,” which captured stunning but off-the-beaten-track scenery and featured bright, warm colors.
As with Novaro’s 2010 “The Good Herbs,” it also plumbs the pleasure of nature, here in a community complete with an animal reserve, a shanty beach cafe, crab-fishing, whales in the bay, sandbars and local songs sung by a local couple.
“Maria’s new film, and what she represents for Mexican cinema, is something entirely new for us. It’s our first title for ‘children and parents,’ and so gorgeous, full of love and hope, and yet a perfect fit for our catalog,” Fiorin said.
Written and edited by Novaro, and set up as a co-production between three Mexican companies – Cine Ermitaño, Ajenjo Cine, and Axolote Cine – “Tesoros” was financed via Mexican 189 Efecine tax coin and a Foprocine investment from the Imcine Mexican Film Institute. It is part of a building but still small corpus of fiction for children in Mexico which attempts to ensure that, though the country is the second biggest export market for Hollywood animation in the world after China, children’s imagination is fueled by not only by Hollywood but also sources closer to home.