Chilean filmmaker Fernando Guzzoni, whose critically lauded father-son drama “Jesus” bows Sept. 1 in the U.S. via Breaking Glass, is developing his first English-language pic for Focus Features.
“We’ve been in talks since Toronto [where “Jesus” had its world premiere] where they asked me to present them a project,” said Guzzoni.
Titled “People Still Die of Love,” the romantic drama is a “reflection on the crisis of modern love, where relationships are often fleeting,” but tinged with dark humor, said Guzzoni. He has written a first draft in Spanish, which he’ll later write in English, he said.
Since it has an urban setting, he’s hoping to shoot in New York or Los Angeles, or possibly the U.K.
Guzzoni is closing co-production deals for his third feature, “Blanca,” with Argentina’s Ivan Granovsky and Marion Klotz of Autocroma boarding the project. He’s also in talks with potential co-producers from France, Germany, Mexico and the U.S. “I hope to close some deals during or after the Independent Film Week in New York in September where we’ve been selected, “ he added.
Inspired by real events, “Blanca” turns on an 18-year old teen who returns to the juvenile center she ran away from at 15, but this time with a baby. She asks the priest in charge to take her in, but they are inadvertently caught up in an investigation on child prostitution, and the relentless media and political attention that comes with it. ‘Blanca’ is slated to shoot in Chile in September next year, and bow in February or May 2019.
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Budgeted at $1.5 million, ‘Blanca’ participated in the Berlinale’s Co-production Market and has tapped Chile’s public-sector production fund.
Guzzoni is poised to cement his reputation as one of Chile’s rising stars on the international stage, starting with his multi prize-winning feature debut “Dog Flesh” which snagged San Sebastian’s New Directors Prize in 2012.
Sold internationally by Paris-based Premium Films, “Jesus” rolls out in France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Poland, Greece, Colombia, Hungary, Croatia, Macedonia, Chile and five other countries between the second semester of this year and early 2018.