Edgard Tenembaum’s Paris-based Tu Vas Voir, producer of “The Motorcycle Diaries,” and “Ixcanul,” has boarded Argentine writer-director Rodrigo Guerrero’s “Venezia,” a tale of a grieving woman’s discovery of a larger freedom.
Tu Vas Voir will co-produce “Venezia” with Cordoba’s Twins Latin Films but leaving all international territory rights open outside Argentina, including those to France, said Tenembaum.
Lead produced by Twins Latin Films, located in Argentine second city Cordoba, “Venezia” competes in a strong Copia Final competition at this year’s Ventana Sur, which kicks off next week in Buenos Aires.
Shot entirely in Italy, “Venezia’s” production was also supported by Alfredo Federico, at Italy’s 39 Films, said Lorena Quevedo, the film’s producer at Twins Latin Films.
Maybe the most arthouse of the films in this year’s highly-varied Copia Final line-up, “Venezia” begins with a distraught young woman, Sofía, aimlessly wandering the streets and passage-ways of Venice after a undisclosed but arresting event.
It transpires that she came to Venice for her honeymoon, but her husband died there from a heart attack. Gradually, her pain, sense of absence and silence is suffused by the life and magic of Venice, chance encounters, a need for human warmth, a nascent friendship with a woman hotel receptionist, and a sense of a larger life beyond a newfound tragic status as a young widow.
As 2014’s “The Third One,” Guerrero’s second feature, “Venezia” invites spectators to make their own interpretations. Possible readings soon multiply. One could be that “Venezia” explores the needs of women in a patriarchal society – where men, however loving, map out their future – to claim their own freedom and control over their lives.
Another, sketched by Guerrero, is the reaction to sudden loss.
“When an unexpected, abrupt event reveals the finite nature of things (and our own existence),” one experiences “the absurdity of existence when we see and realize all the world’s movement goes on despite us.”
He added: “The only way to go on is to be able to accept and leave behind those painful experiences, but accumulating the wisdom they give us: To transform, resist, grow, become stronger.”
“Rodrigo Guerrero is a true talent who manages to say a great deal using very few elements, inviting the spectator to use his imagination,” Tenembaum said.
Tu Vas Voir also co-produced Inés Barrionuevo’s debut “Atlántida” with Cordoba-based producer Paola Suárez.
“I have an apriori favorable view on films coming from Cordoba. ‘Venezia’ gives continuity to my work in the past,” he continued, observing that “Venezia” was “anything but regional cinema, opening up completely to international. It’s talking about something which is completely universal. I like this combination.”
“Venezia” marks Guerrero’s third feature after fest favorite “The Third One,” acquired by TLA Releasing for the U.S., which offers a positive take on a queer threesome, and his 2011 debut “The Winter of the Odd Ones Out,” in which a new arrival in a country-town slowly shatters its emotional torpor. World premiering at the Rotterdam Festival, it proved one of the founding features of Cordoba’s new movie production scene, triggered by new regional film funding which helped “The Winter of the Odd Ones Out” and “Atlantida” go into production.
“Our identity is not in tone or setting but the choice of what we want to narrate, in the singularity of our vision and production structures,” Quevedo said.
Building production volume, Cordoba is also looking to international co-production with companies such as Tu Vas Voir to not only co-finance movies but bring international expertise, profile and contacts at festival, sales agent and distributor levels. That in turn enables the creation of a Cordoba-based industry, avoiding a diaspora of talent to Buenos Aires.
In some latest moves in international co-production, Cordoba’s Chamber of Audiovisual Producers (CAPAC), of which Quevedo is president, has allied with strategic partner Mendoza Film Andes, an industry cluster, to sign a framework agreement with the Basque Country’s Eiken industry body to further collaboration in film and TV production.
That deal was struck at September’s San Sebastian Film Festival. At Ventana Sur, CAPAC and Mendoza Film Andes will advance on an agreement to encourage co-productions with Paraguay, Quevedo said.