For any fanboy in Latin America working in genre filmmaking, Ventana Sur’s Blood Window is one of the main highlights of any year. It bodes well then for Cristoph Behl and the team behind “The Eternal White,” that they head into this year’s Beyond the Window pitching sessions with the added momentum of the announcement of two new international co-producers attached to their project.
Argentina’s Subterranea Films, Behl’s own label, has been on board since the beginning, and have now announced the addition of Brazil’s Novelo Filmes and Bolivia’s Hechos Imaginarios. The producers noted that the global nature of the cast and narrative will expand the chances of an international release, and a greater spread through VOD platforms.
“Now we need a European producer and I think we should get it this week at Ventana Sur,” Behl told Variety at last week’s Mar del Plata Festival.
In the case of “The Eternal White,’ a global co-production scheme is about more than financing, it’s a creative decision as well.
According to the film’s production notes, “’The Eternal White’ was conceived as an international project, since the very composition of its characters is international. The language of the film would be a sort of Spanglish from the future… while the Latino component would dominate.”
The film was co-written by Behl and fellow Argentine Nicolás Britos, who has been building his profile over the past four years writing for both TV and cinema. Britos was recently a co-writer on Argentina’s “Justice League”-ish “Kriptonite,” a standout at the 2015 Mar del Plata Festival.
While there is no doubt that having a project participating in Beyond the Window provides a boost to partnership possibilities, it doesn’t hurt to have an up-and-coming, award-winning director attached. And, while German director Behl has done most of his previous work in documentary, with his last feature, “What’s Left of Us,” he flexed his fiction muscles as well. His post-apocalyptic zombie thriller earned him selection at Sitges and SXSW.
Following up on that romp through the zombie-filled deserts of Earth, he will now take audiences to the monster-filled deserts of Sandoz, a distant mining planet.
The story kicks off as a ship, Quito XV2, crashes in the middle of an endless white desert on the planet. The few survivors must cross the wasteland by foot, trying to reach a safe mining camp while avoiding the silent creatures living in the sand, creatures which react to fear, pain and happiness.
The survivors have a small amount of a drug called “the White” which causes emotional numbness and camouflages them from the monsters, but time is not on their side.
A young boy named Kin is the only survivor who can navigate the vast white expanse without risk, as he was recently given an implant meant to allow him to turn his emotions on and off at will. Only the operation didn’t go quite as planned.