Key Chilean independent production-distribution company Storyboard Media has announced a knock-your-socks-off slate of seven domestic features, in varying degrees of completion, to be released in Chile across 2020.
Bound for Venice’s Critics’ Week, Sebastián Muñoz’s “The Prince” was a hit at last year’s works in progress section at the San Sebastian Film Festival and will return to Spain’s northern shore in September to participate in the festival’s Latino Horizons section.
Based on a low-circulated 1970’s pulp novel about sexual violence in Chilean prisons, the film features strong lead performances to tell the story of a narcissistic young man facing a lifetime behind bars who forms a unique bond with one of the prison’s most powerful inmates. El Otro Film, Niña-Niño Films and Le Tiro produced, Patra Spanou Film Marketing & Consulting handles international sales.
“Vendrá la muerte y tendrá tus ojos” (lit: Death Comes to Take Your Eyes) is the latest from celebrated Chilean cineast José Luis Torres Leiva (“Verano,” “Obreras saliendo de la fábrica”).
Set to release in September, “Vendrá” puts its two female leads face-to-face with mortality when one of them is diagnosed with a terminal illness. Refusing treatment, the couple moves to a small house in the woods where they rediscover a love lost to routine; all the while death waits outside the cabin’s walls.
Guadalajara Intl. Film Festival works in progress’ biggest winner “Piola” turns on three young Chileans, two friends and a young woman, whose paths cross when the girl steals her mom’s car. Although their struggles are superficially unrelated, each is struggling with the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Start-up Chilean production company Otro Foco produced.
“The Journey of Mona Lisa” is a story tracing back to 1995 when Chilean artist Iván Ojeda was invited to New York for a month-long artistic fellowship. In the end, Iván never left, but became Monalisa, a prostitute. Seventeen years later filmmaker Nicole Costa joined her friend Monalisa in New York and documented the meeting. Gregory Costa and Daniela Camino produce.
A participant in last year’s Sanfic Works in Progress, “The Sky is Red” from newcomer Francina Carbonell so impressed Storyboard’s partners Gabriela Sandoval and Carlos Nuñez that they boarded the doc, which details a tragic prison fire from 2010 in which 81 people died, as executive producers. “The first time I saw the project I was amazed,” Sandoval told Variety at the time, “I showed it to Carlos, and he agreed, so we decided to get onboard.”
One of Chile’s most exciting independent producers, Quijote Films founder Giancarlo Nasi – who has the most prominent Chilean film in competition at this year’s Sanfic, “The Man of the Future” – produced the other two features picked up by Storyboard.
Matías Rojas’ “A la sombra de los árboles” is set in 1988 and takes place at the notorious German settlement in southern Chile, Colonia Dignidad. 12-year-old Pablo is the first Chilean child to join the community and quickly becomes a favorite of Uncle Paul before things quickly go wrong and Pablo must make a life-risking escape.
Another period film, Theo Court’s Venice-selected “Blanco en blanco,” is set in the early 20th century and turns on a photographer, played by one of Chile’s most marketable talents in Alfredo Castro, who heads to Tierra de Fuego where he has been commissioned by a wealthy landowner to photograph his marriage. The photographer discovers the bride is only a child and photographs her obsessively until he is discovered and cast out before joining up with a mercenary group killing the indigenous people of the region. Just this morning it was announced that Paris-based Stray Dogs will handle international sales.
“We have been distributing Chilean cinema since 2015 and strive to maintain a good mix of films,” Sandoval told Variety while breaking down the slate “The seven premieres we have for 2020 are incredibly varied yet stay within the editorial line that we are working towards as a distributor of Chilean cinema.”
“No title is a coincidence in our catalog, since they were chosen based on what we plan to achieve with each,” she went on. “Our catalog consists of fiction and documentary ,feature films by men and women directors and covers important contemporary themes such as sexual diversity, politics, human rights, comedy, drama and among others. Many of our films are going to or have had a great international festival life at major events like San Sebastian and Venice.”