×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Bruno Bettati Rejoins Jirafa as Chilean Production Company Bows Distribution Company (EXCLUSIVE)

Top Chilean company also signs Vania Cattani’s Bananeira Filmes for ‘The Cow That Sang Its Song About the Future’

BUENOS AIRES — Having served a stint in government service, Bruno Bettati has rejoined top Chilean company Jirafa Films, the company he founded and built, to produce and also create its new theatrical distribution operation. Bettati will work alongside Augusto Matte, who continues as a fellow producer-partner at Jirafa while also serving as general manager of Spanish-language cinema production at Pablo and Juan de Dios Larrain’s Fabula.

Jirafa has also tapped Daniela Camino as an executive producer with a special responsibility for Jirafa’s fledgling distribution division.

In production, Jirafa will continue to produce both renown figures in the Newest Chilean Cinema, such as Alejandro Fernández Almendras, and new talent, having just pacted with Vania Catani for her Rio-based Bananeira Filmes to co-produce one of the most anticipated feature-debuts in Latin America: Francisca Alegría’s “The Cow That Sang a Song about the Future.”

Jirafa’s in-house distribution division will see it release “around three films” a year, both Jirafa and third-party titles, Matte said at Ventana Sur. First film up will be Raul Ruíz and Valeria Sarmiento’s “The Wandering Soap Opera,” produced by actress-director-producer Chamila Rodríguez, and a movie Ruíz shot in 1990. After a copy was discovered at Duke U., fellow director Sarmiento, Ruíz’s widow, has fashioned it into a finished film which world premiered to plaudits at Locarno. Ruiz’s 121st movie, “The Wandering Soap Opera,” which still has to find an international sales agent, screens at Ventana Sur.

As he took Jirafa into international co-productions and international production, such as Alicia Scherson’s Italy-set Roberto Bolaño adaptation “Il Futuro” starring “Blade Runner’s” Rutger Hauer, Bettati, one of Chile’s most articulate producers, was also one of the first to argue that the major challenge for Chilean movies is not financing, but distribution. Though one of world cinema’s most fest-prized production forces, Chile still has habitually the lowest domestic film market share of a major Latin American production power,  6.8% in 2016, according to the Cannes Film Market’s World Cinema Film Market Trends.

Working as a “boutique distributor,” in Matte’s description, Jirafa aims to translate filmmakers’ vision of their films into their release developing a close working relationship with them, he said at Ventana Sur.

At least one of its three distribution titles every year will be a non-Jirafa title, he added, saying that as a director-driven production company, Jirafa will look to acquire “director driven films or titles with a bold vision or new language.”

He added: “We will start trying to give movies a special release, not trying to reach for 20-40 screens, but releasing on screens that will get an audience.”

Filmmakers will be encouraged to present their new works to audiences: “The only way we can compete with big films is having the director talking to the audience. We believe that the most important thing in releasing a film is generating a dialogue between the artist and his audience,” Matte said.

Bananeira will co-produce “The Cow That Sang a Song About the Future” via a Brazil-Chile bilateral co-production fund, where it has just won funding. It already served as a core producer of Lucrecia Martel’s “Zama,” lead producing with Argentina’s Rei Cine a multi-lateral co-production of enormous complexity.

“Vania Catani has an expertise in international co-production and produces a lot of edgier female directors. It’s great to work with someone that is bringing such interesting female talent to screen,” Matte said.

“The Cow That Sang a Song About the Future” expands on the magical realist universe, poetic symbolism and shooting style – fluid dolly shots, a realist treatment of supernatural elements – of Alegria’s Columbia U. School of the Arts MFA degree short, 2016’s “And the Whole Sky Fit in the Dead Cow’s Eye.”

World premiering at Telluride, it went on to see extraordinary success, playing the Toronto and New York Festivals and winning the Short Film Jury Award for an international feature at this year’s Sundance. Gabriel García Márquez battled all his life to translate magical realism from his novels to the big screen. Alegría, by critical consensus, cracked it.

More Film

  • Aladdin

    Box Office: 'Aladdin' Taking Flight With $105 Million in North America

    Disney’s live-action “Aladdin” is flying high with an estimated $105 million in North America during the four-day Memorial Day holiday weekend. It’s the sixth-highest Memorial Day weekend total ever, topping the 2011 mark of $103.4 million for “The Hangover Part II.” The top total came in 2007, when “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” [...]

  • Agustina San Martin Talks Cannes Special

    Agustina San Martin Talks Cannes Special Mention Winner ‘Monster God’

    CANNES – An exploration of the ramifications of God, “Monster God,” from Argentina’s Agustina San Martín, took a Special Mention – an effective runner’s up prize – on Saturday night at this year’s Cannes Film Festival short film competition. It’s not difficult to see why, especially when jury president Claire Denis own films’ power resists [...]

  • Atlantics

    Netflix Snags Worldwide Rights to Cannes Winners 'Atlantics,' 'I Lost My Body'

    Mati Diop’s feature directorial debut “Atlantics” and Jérémy Clapin’s animated favorite “I Lost My Body” have both been acquired by Netflix following wins at Cannes Film Festival. “Atlantics” was awarded the grand prix while “I Lost My Body” was voted the best film at the independent International Critics Week. The deals are for worldwide rights [...]

  • Stan Lee, left, and Keya Morgan

    Stan Lee's Former Business Manager Arrested on Elder Abuse Charges

    Stan Lee’s former business manager, Keya Morgan, was arrested in Arizona Saturday morning on an outstanding warrant from the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPD’s Mike Lopez confirmed that the arrest warrant was for the following charges: one count of false imprisonment – elder adult; three counts of grand theft from elder or dependent adult, [...]

  • Moby attends the LA premiere of

    Moby Apologizes to Natalie Portman Over Book Controversy

    Moby has issued an apology of sorts after writing in his recently published memoir “Then It Fell Apart” that he dated Natalie Portman when she was 20 — a claim the actress refuted. “As some time has passed I’ve realized that many of the criticisms leveled at me regarding my inclusion of Natalie in Then [...]

  • Bong Joon-ho reacts after winning the

    Bong Joon-ho's 'Parasite' Wins the Palme d'Or at Cannes

    CANNES — The 72nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival wrapped with jury president Alejandro González Iñárritu announcing the group’s unanimous decision to award the Palme d’Or to South Korean director Bong Joon-ho for his sly, politically charged “Parasite.” Following last year’s win for humanistic Japanese drama “Shoplifters,” the well-reviewed Asian thriller represents the yin [...]

  • Invisible Life Brazilian Cinema

    Cannes Film Review: 'The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão'

    A “tropical melodrama” is how the marketing materials bill “The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão.” If that sounds about the most high-camp subgenre ever devised, Karim Aïnouz’s ravishing period saga lives up to the description — high emotion articulated with utmost sincerity and heady stylistic excess, all in the perspiring environs of midcentury Rio de [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content