Uruguay’s Aparicio García impressed with his one-of-kind debut earlier this year, the grindhouse rural mobster comedy “La noche que no se repite,” and the filmmaker has now participated in Ventana Sur’s Proyecta section with his next project, the dark comedy thriller “Matufia.”
García’s Isla Patrulla is so far the only producer, but his participation at Ventana Sur’s should give the project a boost in locking down international partners.
The film is based loosely on the real life story of a brutal physical attack against Uruguayan soccer journalist Ricardo Gabito. According to García, the screenplay – which now has a finished first draft co-written with the novel’s author Rodolfo Santullo – is, “based on Gabito’s story, but doesn’t pretend to be a biopic.”
Garcia himself is a long-time camera man and has worked in the world of sports journalism for years, even following the Uruguayan national team through the qualification process for this year’s World Cup. It’s a work history that empowers the “Matufia” script with a realism and behind-the-scenes accuracy that another filmmaker might not be able to provide.
“When I first read the novel, it detonated in my head a revelation about a world that I know quite well,” Garcia explained.
The film follows the fictional Serrato, a sports journalist, who spends his time working to uncover corruption in the beautiful game. Undeterred by threats, Serrato is hospitalized after being attacked in an attempted assassination, ordered by the leaders of the organization he is investigating.
The two-bit criminal hired to do the job manages to mess it up in nearly every way possible, and Serrato is left alive to not only continue investigating the league, but to identify those who put a hit on him in the first place.
“Although this happened 14 years ago, it has not lost its validity. Similar situations often provoke dissimilar sensations such as laughter, anger or even fear,” said Garcia, adding: “That’s the tone this film tries to hit, where fiction and reality have no defined borders.”
As with Garcia’s previous film, “La noche que no se repite,” “Matufia” will approach its subject matter with a dramatic flair, but also a defined undercurrent of dark humor that adds another dimension to the proceedings.
“I live in a country where the thematic and hierarchical hegemony that this sport has for its people, is above almost anything,” Garcia said, dismissing the famous soccer proverb that “Football is the most important of the unimportant things.”
“Whoever said that may never have heard of Uruguay in his life. And if he had, it was probably thanks to football.”
The film is scheduled to begin shooting at the beginning of 2021.