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Diaphana Boards Ciro Guerra’s ‘Birds of Passage’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Rolling off Ciro Guerra’s Oscar-nominated “Embrace of the Serpent,” French distribution outfit Diaphana has boarded the rising Colombian auteur’s followup, “Birds of Passage.”

Berlin-based Films Boutique, which co-produced and reps the film in international markets, is unveiling the movie’s first images at the AFM. Cristina Gallego co-directed the pic with Guerra.

Now in post, “Birds of Passage” takes place in Colombia in the 1970s, when the demand for marijuana hits Colombia, quickly turning farmers into seasoned businessmen. Unfolding in the Guajira desert, “Birds of Passage” follows an Wayuu indigenous family who takes a leading role in this new drug trade, and discovers the perks of wealth and power, but with a violent and tragic downside.

“Birds of Passage” was penned by Maria Camila Arias and Jacques Toulemonde.

Guerra’s most ambitious film to date, “Birds of Passage” was described by Films Boutique’s head of sales Louis Balsan as a “film noir, a western and a Greek tragedy” in its “depiction of a family disintegrating and torn apart.”

Balsan pointed out that “Birds of Passage” will aim at a wider audience than the black and white fable “Embrace of the Serpent” and is a “major production” for Latin America, in terms of scale and scope. “Thousands of extras were used during the shoot,” added Balsan.

The film was produced by Ciudad Lunar, Blond Indian Films, Pimienta Films, Films Boutique and Snowglobe. It will be delivered during the second quarter of 2018.

Films Boutique, which is a subsidiary of Paris-based Playtime, has been thriving with critically acclaimed, director-driven movies in the last couple years, notably Houda Benyamina’s “Divines,” which won the Camera d’Or in Cannes; Savi Gabizon’s “Longing,” which took a audience prize at Venice; “Gabriel and the Mountain,” which won a prize at Cannes’s Critics Week; and Ildiko Enyedi’s “On Body and Soul,” which won three prizes in Berlin, including the Golden Bear.

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