×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Cannes: Luxbox Drives Into Production, Boarding ‘Penal Cordillera’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Paris-based sales company drives into production, links to Dominga Sotomayor’s Cinestación on awaited Chilean debut

Paris-based sales company Luxbox, which handled sales on the Martin Scorsese-backed “A Ciambra” and Berlinale hit “The Heiresses,” is driving into production, partnering with Dominga Sotomayor’s Chile-based Cinestación on “Penal Cordillera.”

Focusing on edgy or adventurous titles often with a high-profile festival presence, Luxbox will also handle world sales on “Penal Cordillera,” the feature debut of Chilean playwright-director Felipe Carmona.

Written by Carmona, with script consultancy from Alejandro Fadel, whose “Muere, Monstruo, Muere” plays Cannes’ Un Certain Regard this year, “Penal Cordillera” is based on a true story. It turns on the last stand made by five army generals of the Augusto Pinochet regime, the dictator’s most murderous torturers whose sentences for human rights violation totalled over 800 years in prison, to avoid at any cost their transfer from a luxury prison in the Andes foothills.

“Penal Cordillera” tips into horror as the former-torturers’ decision to fight oblivion reawakens their monstrosity – and a nightmarish atmosphere in the prison.

“This is a very interesting script, which starts with the mundane and a lot of humor, to gradually give way to terror, violence and delirium,” said Sotomayor, who produces at Cinestación with Omar Zuñiga.

The debut was one of the highlight projects at Sanfic’s Santiago Lab. Luxbox itself discovered “Penal Cordillera” at Marseilles’ FidLAB.

“We were immediately captured by the rigor of characterization of these real figures and the powerful atmosphere that the script transmits,” said Luxbox co-founder Hédi Zardi.

Luxbox, the French production partner on Carlos Reygadas’ upcoming “Donde nace la vida,” sold by The Match Factory,  is now also co-producing “Barchini,” a docu-feature from Italian director Yuri Ancarani about Venice teens living out their adolescent dreams on motorboats.

“We aim to combine sales with the production of a select number of projects per year,”  said Zardi. “It’s a way of being involved very early on a project, bringing  it financial support and our international insight.”

At Cannes, Luxbox is handling international sales on Directors’ Fortnight player “Dear Son,” from Mohammed Ben Attia, whose “Hedi,” which won the 2016 Berlinale awards for Best First Feature and actor (Majd Mastoura), proving Luxbox’s first big festival and sales hit.

Also on its slate is Brazilian-Portuguese Un Certain Regard player “The Dead and the Others,” a knowing fiction-film take on the mindset of young indigenous Brazilians; Berlinale 2018 winner triple winner “The Heiresses”; and Karim Ainouz’s “Central Airport THF,” which, like “The Heiresses,” was chosen by Variety among the 10 best films of the 2018 Berlin Festival.

POPULAR ON VARIETY: 

More Film

  • 'Nina Wu' Review: Stylish, Glitchy, Provocative

    Cannes Film Review: 'Nina Wu'

    “They don’t just want to take my body, they want to take my soul!” So runs the overripe line of dialogue that actress Nina Wu (Wu Kexi) has to repeat again and again in “Nina Wu,” the fascinating, glitchy, stylish, and troublesome new film from Taiwanese director Midi Z (“The Road to Mandalay”). Nina practices [...]

  • 'All About Yves" Review: Feeble French

    Cannes Film Review: 'All About Yves'

    Benoit Forgeard’s dorky “All About Yves,” bizarrely chosen as the closing film of 2019’s Directors’ Fortnight selection in Cannes, is literally about an intelligent refrigerator that ascends to Eurovision fame as a rapper. Imagine Spike Jonze’s “Her” played for the cheapest of laughs, shorn of atmosphere, and absent all melancholic insight into our relationship with [...]

  • 'The Bare Necessity' Review: Offbeat, Charming

    Cannes Film Review: 'The Bare Necessity'

    A perfectly charmant way to, as the song has it, forget about your worries and your strife for 100 airy minutes, writer-director Erwan le Duc’s “The Bare Necessity” is a breezy little sweetheart of a debut, that threatens to give the rather ominous description “quirky French romantic comedy” a good name. In its dappled countryside [...]

  • Adam

    Cannes Film Review: 'Adam'

    With her debut feature “Adam,” Maryam Touzani allows her audience to sit back and relax comfortably into a beautifully made, character-driven little gem that knows when and how to touch all the right buttons. Taking the stories of two women, both frozen in existential stasis, and bringing them together in a predictable yet deeply satisfying [...]

  • 'To Live to Sing' Review: A

    Cannes Film Review: 'To Live to Sing'

    After his taut, impressive debut “Old Stone” which tracked with nightmarish relentlessness the high cost of compassion in modern urban China, Canadian-Chinese director Johnny Ma loosens his grip a little to deliver a softer, if not necessarily less pessimistic examination of the failing fortunes of a regional Sichuan Opera troupe. “To Live to Sing” is [...]

  • Hugh Jackman Sings Happy Birthday to

    Hugh Jackman Leads Massive One-Man Show Crowd in 'Happy Birthday' for Ian McKellen

    Hugh Jackman may have had to skip Ian McKellen’s birthday party to perform his one-man show, “The Man, The Music, The Show,” but that didn’t mean he couldn’t celebrate his “X-Men” co-star’s 80th. Jackman took a moment at the Manchester Arena Saturday to lead the sold-out audience — some 50,000 strong — in a rendition [...]

  • Netflix, Shmetflix: At Cannes 2019, the

    Netflix, Shmetflix: At Cannes 2019, the Movies Needed Every Inch of the Big Screen

    In the May 24 edition of The New York Times, there was a column by Timothy Egan, entitled “The Comeback of the Century: Why the Book Endures, Even in an Era of Disposable Digital Culture,” that celebrated those things that come between two hard covers as a larger phenomenon than mere nostalgia. The column keyed [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content