Chile’s Parox, one of the country’s foremost TV companies (“Gen Mishima,” “Invisible Heroes”), is teaming with France’s Rouge Intl. to develop “Evasion” (Escape), the latest feature film from Cristian Jiménez, director of 2011’s Cannes-selected “Bonsai” and co-director of 2017 Sundance player “Family Life.”
Parox founder-producer Sergio Gándara is attending Guadalajara Festival’s Co-production Meeting to seek a co-producer from Mexico or North America.
“For us, it’s very important that one of the stars is a recognized name in the biggest industry in the world,” he commented.
Jiménez, Parox and Rouge Intl. are at an exploratory phase, considering the use of a hybrid style mixing live-action, animation and documentary, Gandara added.
In “Escape,” Miguel, a combatant against Augusto Pinochet’s bloody dictatorship, plans an escape from jail with other political prisoners while imagining a film with a Hollywood star made in the future about his feat.
30 years later, Miguel remembers his past as Michael, a Hollywood star, arrives in Chile to make a film about the jailbreak.
“Inspired by a true event, ‘Escape’ flirts with the fantasy genre to talk about cinema, memory and forgetting,” Jiménez told Variety. “It’s also the story of a journey to the future, and a country which flees from its memory.”
“Escape” is written by Jiménez and Teatro de Chile theater director Manuela Infante, one of Chile’s most prominent young playwrights. One reference for the film may be “Waltz with Bashir,” Parox producer Leonora González added. Producers are González and Nadia Turincev at Paris-based Rouge Intl.
Contrasting history – what really happened – history as interpretation of the past, and story and memory as fictional constructs, the film will also offer a reflection on the political sense of the armed struggle against the dictatorship, Gándara added.
Headed by Turincev and Julie Gayet, Rouge Intl. – whose recent credits include Julie Ducournau’s milestone women’s cannibal film “Raw,” the Agnes Varda co-directed “Faces, Places” and Alejandro Fadel’s “Murder Me, Monster” – already co-produced Jiménez’s “Voice Over,” which played in 2014 San Sebastian competition, and 2011 Cannes Un Certain Regard contender “Bonsai,” both produced out of Chile by Jirafa.
“Escape” is one of three productions at Parox, which also take in the completed but unseen drama series “Invisible Heroes,” written by Finland’s Tarja Kylma and Chile’s Infante and one of the highest-profile of Chilean TV series this year.
A bi-cultural series, integrating the sensibilities of both [Finnish and Chilean] cultural identities,” “Invisible Heroes” is inspired by the true tale of how Finnish diplomat Tapani Brotherus snared political asylum for some 2,500 Chileans after Augusto Pinochet’s bloody 1973 coup.
Parox also has in development a new series project, thriller come women’s drama “Silver Bridge,” about the origins of Latin America’s narco trade in 1950s Chile. Gándara will pitch the drama series at Guadalajara’s FICG TV Pitchbox on March 13.