SANTIAGO DE CHILE – Loic Magneron’s Paris-based Wide has boarded “Kingdoms,” taking world sales rights to Chilean Pelayo Lira’s coming of age drama as, after bows at BAFICI and Karlovy Vary, it has finally come home to Chile, screening at this year’s SANFIC Santiago Intl. Film Festival.
The film is a sex -infused examination of the relationship between Sofia, a PhD grad student, and new freshman Alejandro. Sofia lives with her mother, who is relegated to bed rest, a cause for extra stress and strain on Sofia’s scholar and private lives. Alejandro’s situation is quite the opposite; coming from a wealthy family and having the means to afford a room in his own apartment. The two embark on an intensely sexual, sometimes masochistic, relationship which at first, is fulfilling for them both. Conflict arises as Alejandro grows jealous and suspicious of Sofia’s actions when he isn’t around, and the two are forced to evaluate what it is that they are looking for from each other.
The film’s sub-plots tend to take a much wider look at Chilean society as a whole, particularly for young people. When other students do feature, they are frequently adrift, with no solid long-term plans for their lives.
“I would dare to say that it’s a generational theme of young people in Chile, especially my generation which was born in the ’80s and ‘90s,” Lira explained to Variety last month.
“’Kingdoms’ really fits Wide’s editorial line. We have been directly hooked by the social aspects and the tone cinema vérité of the film,” said Wide president Magneron.
He added: “The metaphor behind the eroticism of both characters’ bodies with a carnal aspect is like a transposition of youth’s intensity in the context of contemporary Chilean society.”
“Kingdoms” was co-written by Lira and Romina Reyes, who wrote the book on which the film is based. Niebla Productions, out of Santiago, co-produced with additional support from the University of Chile, BancoEstado – Chile’s public bank, and Corfo – a Chilean government organization whose aim is to promote economic growth in Chile.
For now, the film will continue its festival run, while making its commercial bow in March of 2018.
Wide represents more than 20 new features per year and boasts a library of more than 800 features. Other recent acquisitions by the company are 2017 Locarno main competition player “Goliath,” 2016 Berlinale Crystal Bear nominee “Before the Streets” and “Dede,” which received a Special Mention in the 2017 Karlovy Vary East of West Award.
John Hopewell contributed to this article