Germany’s The Match Factory has acquired world sales rights to Venice competition entry “Spira Mirabilis” and Horizons player “White Sun,” building one of the biggest sales slates of any company on the Lido this year.
Other Venice titles for The Match Factory, giving it a four-picture slate two years in a row, include a second competition title, “La region salvaje,” Mexican Amat Escalante’s follow-up to his 2014 Cannes best director winner “Heli,” and Israeli Rama Burshtein’s “Through the Wall,” which screens in Horizons.
Since it launched in 2006, few companies have pushed harder into auteur world cinema than The Match Factory. That’s reflected in its Venice slate. A creative essay on immortality, “Spira Mirabilis,” an Italy-Switzerland docu-feature, is directed by husband-and-wife team Massimo d’Anolfi and Martina Parenti.
Described as a “visual symphony” and shot around the world, “Spira Mirabilis” plumbs different manifestations of immortality, or at least resistance to the passage of time: the never-ending restoration of Milan’s Duomo cathedral; Shin Kubota, a Japanese scientist obsessed with the so-called Benjamin Button jellyfish, which grows in reverse; a Lakota community which fights against the disappearance of their culture.
Produced by Joslyn Barnes and Danny Glover at Louverture Films, and Tsering Rhitar Sherpa and Michel Merkt, “White Sun” marks the second feature from Nepali director Deepak Rauniyar. His debut, “Highway,” became the first film from Nepal to play at a big festival when it world-premiered in Berlin’s Panorama section in 2012.
Put through some of the world’s most prestigious development workshops, including Cannes L’Atelier, and awarded funding from the Hubert Bals Fund and Doha and Tribeca Film Institutes, “White Sun” is a family drama set in a remote Nepalese village still racked in the wake of a decade-long civil war. Nepal’s Aadi Production and Louverture Films produce in association with The Film Kitchen, (Netherlands), Mila Productions (Nepal), the Doha Film Institute (Qatar) and Bertha Foundation (Switzerland).
“La region salvaje,” Escalante’s fourth feature, boasts the hallmarks of many of the most ambitious movies now coming out of Latin America: strong international co-production; a mix of art-house and genre; a step up in budget scale and VFX, here provided by Lars von Trier collaborator Peter Hjorth. “La region salvaje” is lead-produced by Mexico’s Mantarraya in co-production with France’s Le Pacte, The Match Factory, Mer Film in Norway and Denmark’s Snow Globe Films.
It turns on “the struggle towards independence of a young woman and her two small children.” The mother battles to overcome “male chauvinism, misogyny and homophobia,” and is “convinced that something otherworldly could be the answer to all their problems,”
“Through the Wall” marks Burshstein’s follow-up to 2012 Venice hit “Fill the Void,” and, like that film, is set in the world of an Orthodox Jewish family in Tel Aviv. Described by The Match Factory as a “heartwarming second feature,” the movie centers on a 32-year-old woman who is planning her wedding. She now has the dress and the venue, and only lacks a groom.
“I am looking forward to going to Venice wth directors from different corners of the world with such strong cinematographic voices,” said Weber, The Match Factory’s managing director.