“Habanero’s motto is ‘Awesome stories from Latin American & Caribbean filmmakers.’ We are always looking for films anchored in great storytelling; fresh and unusual perspectives that touch on important issues that need to be discussed or simply to make them visible, to raise awareness,” said Calvino.
Impressed by both films, Calvino closed world sales rights to the dramas at Ventana Sur while granting the Habanero award to “Pseudo” which competed in Havana’s Works in Progress section.
Directed by Patiño and his long-time Spanish collaborator, Luis Reneo, “Pseudo” is a political thriller that tracks a taxi driver who is ensnared in a dangerous operation after he absconds with the identity of a passenger.
“The Goalkeeper” (“Muralla”), Bolivia’s official entry to the Oscars and the Golden Globes, exposes the underworld of human trafficking while showing the human drama of a former soccer player scraping out a living, desperate to save his gravely sick child in the streets of La Paz.
“Both stories are set in La Paz, which, by the way, proved to be a truly cinematic city, and a key character in both films,” Calvino observed.
“ ‘Pseudo’ may be set in La Paz but it has great remake potential,” said Patiño who added that the film, now in post, has its first cut and will have Argentina’s Emilio Kauderer, the award-winning composer behind 2010 best Foreign Language film winner “The Secret in their Eyes,” crafting its musical score. Plans are to work on its sound design and color by next year, Patiño added.
The film “represents the disenchantment of ideologies in Latin America where it makes no difference if you are left wing or right wing: put a briefcase with money on the table and everyone forgets their colors and their principles,” he noted.
“It is the reason why I returned to Bolivia after living for 12 years in California,” he said, adding: “a producer advised me and Reneo to go back to our countries, make a film and then return to Hollywood with something under our arms.”
Patiño and Reneo wrote “Pseudo” eight years ago while studying at Chapman University, where they co-wrote the script to thriller “Rock Paper Scissors,” one of the top ten screenplay awardees at Slamdance, which Patiño plans to shoot in English in Los Angeles.
“Pseudo” was shot in July 2018, two months before the premiere of Patiño’s feature debut “The Goalkeeper” which went on to become the highest-grossing Bolivian film in 15 years. “We’re in talks for a theatrical rollout in Buenos Aires and Montevideo,” said Patiño. “It had a 10-week run in Bolivia but it is still screening at Bolivia’s Cinemateca,” he added.