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Chile’s Jirafa Taps New Exec Producer, Relaunches Distribution Operations (EXCLUSIVE)

Matias de Bourguignon to oversee Jirafa’s Productions

Leading Chilean film Company Jirafa, which has re-launched its distribution operations under returning founder-managing director Bruno Bettati, has tapped Matias de Bourguignon as an executive producer, starting in August.

Among his credits, De Bourguignon, a former portfolio manager, executive produced acclaimed short “The Summer of the Electric Lion,” winner of the First Jury Prize at the Cannes Festival’s 21st Cinéfondation Selection, a showcase for film school shorts.

De Bourguignon will oversee Alejandro Fernandez Almendras’ Czech Republic-set “HRA”(“The Play”), now in post, and screening at Sanfic’s Latin American Works in Progress, as well as current projects in development: Francisca Alegría’s much-anticipated feature debut “The Cow that Sang a Song About the Future” and Fernandez’s dystopian sci-fi thriller “The Gray Beyond.”

“The Cow that Sang…” is Alegria’s follow-up to her Sundance-winning 2016 short “And the Whole Sky Fit in the Dead Cow’s Eye,” hailed for its stunning use of magical realism. Jirafa would be open to pacting with more producing partners, particularly from the U.S., said De Bourguignon. Vania Catani’s Rio-based Bananeira Filmes (“Zama”) boarded the project last year while Katrin Pors’ Denmark-based Snowglobe came on board as a co-producer for the Valdivia-set feature in July.

Bettati, who officially rejoined the company Aug. 1, after a stint at Chile’s Ministry of Culture, has amped up Jirafa’s distribution operations with the aim to release at least four feature films a year, including at least one documentary. Company explored distribution in 2010 for about a year.

According to Bettati, at least three releases will be from third-parties and one an in-house production. “As I’ve said before, the major challenge for Chilean movies is not financing, but distribution,” said Bettati.

This year, the company bowed  Marcela Said’s “Los Perros,” a Jirafa production, in March and Marcelo Porta’s “Tacos de Cemento” in May. In September, Jirafa will open Raul Ruiz y Valeria Sarmiento’s “La Telenovela Errante.”

Next year, the boutique distribution company will release Nicolas Molina’s documentary “Flow,” which competes at Sanfic; “Medea,” the feature debut of NY-based playwright Alejandro Moreno; Sebastian Munoz’s “The Prince,” participating at Sanfic’s Works in Progress (WIP) section before segueing to San Sebastián’s Work in Progress; and Jirafa production “HRA,” also at Sanfic WIP.

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