You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Berlin: Latido Films Acquires Panorama Entry ‘Holy Beasts’ (EXCLUSIVE)

MADRID — Big Spanish-language arthouse sales company Latido Films has just acquired world sales rights to Berlinale Panorama entry “Holy Beasts,” a step up in scale for its directors, “Sand Dollars” Laura Amelia Guzman and Israel Cardenas, which turns around the extraordinary, if ill-known, Dominican cineast Jean-Louis Jorge.

The deal excludes producers’ home territories.

Starring Geraldine Chaplin, Udo Kier, Luis Ospina and, “Holy Beasts” is produced by the Dominican Republic’s Gabriel Tineo  at Batú Films (“Miriam Miente”), Lantica Media and Aurora Dominicana, Argentina’s Rei Cine, (“Zama,” “The Accused”) and Mexico’s Pimienta Films, represented by Nicolás Celis and Sandino Sarabia Vinay, a producer and associate producer on “Roma.”

“Holy Beasts” turns on an actress (Chaplin), based on the figure of Edwige Belmore, who travels to the Dominican Republic to direct and star in an unfinished film she originally took part in, begun by Jean-Louis Jorge.

George’s short oeuvre, with just two features – 1973’s “Serpents of the Pirate Moon,” Jorge’s graduate film at UCLA, 1975’s “Melodrame,” which played Cannes Critics’ Week – combines Hollywood glam and Latino melodrama in a kitsch excess which has caused him to be hailed as a precursor of Almodovar. His two movies also feature protagonists who confuse fiction and real life.

Jorge himself died in 2000, murdered in what is thought to have a homophobic homicide.

Reuniting new and old cast (Udo Kier) and crew (cinematographer Martin, played by legendary Colombian underground filmmaker Luis Ospina) in a movie about a vampire slaking his thirst on starlets, Chaplin’s actress-director is threatened with a similar fate to that of Jorge’s protagonists. As she moves nearer to the people she cares for most in the world – Jorge, her estranged grandson, a dancer on the film – she must battle to complete a film which, despite being shot at Pinewood, is being made on far too tight a schedule and budget and seems to be dammed.

“Memories that emerge exploring the work of the deceased director, the encounter with old and new intellectuals living distant from the country’s realities, rekindled love, past stories haunting the present – this composes the core of a movie that could be described as an Almodóvar-meets-Sorrentino in the Caribbean,” commented Latino Films’ Antonio Saura.

“Like many of the directors we work with, Laura and Israel have an inherent and individual capacity to extract and reformulate, rendering real and visible what would otherwise remain invisible in their context, here the Dominican Republic,” said Benjamín Domenech, a producer-partner at Rei Cine.

“Holy Beasts” is an attempt to rescue and revindicate the figure of Jean-Louis Jorge, overlooked in part because, though Dominican, he made his films abroad. based on years of research, said Guzmán.

Though a step-up in scale, it is a natural one, organically connected to both the films of Guzmán and Cárdenas and the current bust growth in the Dominican film industry.

“We wanted to to continue making films with Geraldine Chaplin, [star of “Sand Dollars”] ,thought she needed to be accompanied by an international figure, so brought on Udo Kier. Jorge’s films exalted classic Hollywood, so we thought, given the growth of the industry and launch of thePinewood Dominican Republic Studios, to shoot in studios.

“Holy Beasts” is also a step-up in co-production terms, said Tineo, the first of Guzman and Cardenas’ films to have two Dominican production houses, marked a departure in bringing on board Lantica Media, owner of the Pinewood Dominican Republic Studios, as a co-producer.

Yoking auteurist hallmarks – the mix of fiction and reality . more mainstream beats in its cast, location and production values, “Holy Beasts” can be seen as the biggest film yet in the Dominican Republic’s burgeoning cannon of arthouse films, and a crossover towards a more international mainstream, Tineo added.

CREDIT: Latido Films

More Film

  • Black Panther

    'Black Panther,' 'Crazy Rich Asians,' 'Westworld' Among Costume Designers Guild Winners

    “Crazy Rich Asians,” “The Favourite” and “Black Panther” walked away with top honors at the 21st annual Costume Designers Guild Awards Tuesday night, the final industry guild show before the Oscars on Feb. 24. “The Favourite” and “Black Panther” are up for the Oscar this year, along with “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” “Mary Poppins [...]

  • WGA Writers Contract Talks

    Talent Agents, WGA Achieve Progress in Second Round of Talks

    Hollywood talent agents and the Writers Guild of America have achieved some progress at their second negotiating session over agency regulations, according to sources close to the talks. The two sides met Tuesday, two weeks after their first meeting resulted in both sides criticizing each other, followed by the WGA holding a trio of spirited [...]

  • Aaron Paul

    Film News Roundup: Aaron Paul Honored by Sun Valley Film Festival

    In today’s film news roundup, Aaron Paul is honored, Bruce Berman is re-upped at Village Roadshow, and Paola Mendoza and Abby Sher get a book deal. FESTIVAL HONORS The Sun Valley Film Festival has selected Idaho native and three-time Emmy winner Aaron Paul as the winner of its Pioneer Award, presented by Variety for his [...]

  • Olivia Munn]EMILY'S List Pre-Oscars Brunch, Inside,

    Olivia Munn Says Brett Ratner Called Her Before His 'Howard Stern' Apology

    Olivia Munn is setting the record straight about standing up to “Rush Hour” director Brett Ratner, whom she alleges sexually harassed her over a decade ago. During a panel discussion at the Emily’s List pre-Oscars brunch at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills Tuesday morning, Munn revealed that Ratner called her in 2011 after he denied [...]

  • Flesh Out review

    Berlin Film Review: 'Flesh Out'

    Ignore the awful English-language title: “Flesh Out” is an emotionally rich, sensitively made film about a young woman in Mauritania forced to gain weight in order to conform to traditional concepts of well-rounded beauty before her impending marriage. Strikingly registering the sensations of a protagonist living between the dutiful traditions of her class and the [...]

  • Marighella review

    Berlin Film Review: 'Marighella'

    Does Brazil need a film that openly advocates armed confrontation against its far-right government? That’s the first question that needs to be asked when discussing “Marighella,” actor Wagner Moura’s directorial debut focused on the final year in the life of left-wing insurrectionist Carlos Marighella during Brazil’s ruthless military dictatorship. For whatever one might think of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content