Bolivia’s Gory Patiño, writer-director for his country’s Academy Award submission “The Goalkeeper” – also the highest grossing Bolivian film in 15 years – and his frequent filmmaking partner, Spain’s Luis Reneo, are participating in this year’s Ventana Sur films in progress section with their socio-political thriller “Pseudo.”
The project was also selected as a finalist for a post-production award at the Havana Film Festival and, in before production, was awarded development prizes by Spain’s Ibermedia and the Bolivia Lab. It also tapped funding from La Paz city hall and comes as the Bolivian government is in the process of introducing federal funding regulation, the last country in the region to provide such state incentives.
All that’s left now is to secure completion finance for post-production. The film will be ready for a 2019 release.
“’Pseudo’ is the reason I went back to my country after 12 years living in the States,” Patiño told Variety just before Ventana Sur. “It was written in the States, but when we had the script producers told us to go back to Bolivia, shoot something, and come back with some work under our belt.”
In the film, a humble taxi-driver, out of work and desperate for money, assumes the identity of a passenger, a photographer, and takes his next assignment. But the photographer is no photographer, rather, a hit-man whose next target is a right-wing General Videla, who controls vigilante squads in Bolivia and owns some of Bolivia’s richest mining assets.
Still in desperate need of money, the taxi-driver looks to take the nearest exit stealing his pay in the process; until he begins to fall for his accomplice, an indigenous woman whose parents were killed by Videla.
But nobody is what they claim, including the source financing the assassination plot.
Patiño explained the driver’s motivations in a broader thematic context, saying that, “Today people seem to be losing their ideology. Left or right wing doesn’t mean anything, even if someone is a fanatic. If people put money on the table you forget your color, your flag, your ideology.”
“Pseudo” is produced by Bolivia’s Macondo Art producer Leonel Fransezze, who is also a popular host for the daily morning news show “Primera Edición” on TV Bolivian TV station ATB, Rodrigo Urriolagoitia, Claudia Gaensel (“Even the Rain”), and German Monje. Argentinian composer Emilio Kauderer (“Secret in their Eyes”) composed the soundtrack.
The now well-established partnership between Patiño and Reneo, with roots stemming back to their days at Chapman University, have their next film planned as well. Titled “Rock Paper Scissors,” it will be their first English-language feature, and will film in Los Angeles.
That doesn’t mean that Patiño is ready to go full Hollywood, however.
“I want to play by the international rules and get our work to export standard, but still tell stories from my country, from my culture. There are a lot of urgent stories to be told,” he said. He added, “I do believe there is a healthy time arriving soon for Bolivian cinema, and the new government funding will help that.”