SANTIAGO, Chile – In the run-up to the upcoming 76th Venice Int’l Film Festival, Paris-based Stray Dogs has closed international sales rights on Chilean drama “Blanco en Blanco,” which holds its world premiere in the festival’s Horizons sidebar.
Filmed last year in the frigid tundra of Chile’s Tierra de Fuego and Spain’s tropical Canary Islands, the anticipated second feature by helmer-scribe Theo Court (“Ocaso”) features Chile’s Alfredo Castro, who starred in 72nd Venice Golden Lion winner “Desde Alla” (“From Afar”) by Lorenzo Vigas. Castro leads an international cast that includes Germany’s Lars Rudolph and Spanish thesp, Lola Rubio.
Set in the early 20th century, the drama centers on a photographer, played by Castro, who heads to Tierra de Fuego where he has been commissioned by a wealthy landowner to cover his wedding.
The photographer discovers that the bride is a mere child and begins to obsessively photograph her in secret. When he is discovered, he is cast out. Jobless and isolated, he takes up with a group of mercenaries who are killing the indigenous people of the region.
Pointing out that Stray Dogs was the same company that picked up Chilean Dominga Sotomayor’s Locarno best director winner “Too Late to Die Young,” producer Giancarlo Nasi of Santiago-based Quijote Films noted: “‘Blanco en Blanco’ fits their penchant for director-driven arthouse films with strong aesthetic visions and edgy young talent.”
Quijote Films’ “The Man of the Future” competes in the international section of the 15th Sanfic (Santiago Int’l Film Festival).
Directed by Felipe Rios, it was the first Chilean film to compete at the recent Karlovy Vary Festival which bestowed a promising new talent special jury mention on its actress, Antonia Giesen, who also stars in Pablo Larrain’s Venice competition entry, “Ema.”
Founded in 2015, Stray Dogs’ Latin American 2019 slate includes Colombian animated feature “Virus Tropical” by Santiago Caicedo, Lucio Castro’s Bafici Best Film winner, “End of the Century” and Brazilian Gabriela Amaral’s “The Father’s Shadow.”
For Nasi and his fellow producers, landing at Venice is virtually an award in itself after filming “Blanco..” under extreme weather conditions in both Tierra de Fuego and Tenerife. Structuring its financing of $900,000 took four to five years and includes producers from Germany (Kundschafter Filmproduktion), France (Pomme Hurlante Films) and Spain (El Viaje Films). It also received backing from the World Cinema Fund, federal funding from Spain and Chile aside from the Canary Islands, which has recently attracted big-ticket productions such as “Rambo: Last Blood” and “Wonder Woman 2.”
Filming in Tenerife, which stood in for Tierra de Fuego, proved even more challenging for the actors who had to perform in winter clothing in searing heat, said Nasi.
“‘Blanco en Blanco’ demanded an incredible effort, the film was divided into two stages, two different sites, with different teams in each place,” concurred Spanish producer Marina Alberdi of El Viaje Films.
“Tierra del Fuego was particularly difficult due to the demands of the territory; the Chilean part of Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego has rarely been filmed,” Alberdi said, concluding: “With Stray Dogs we have found a kinship in our quest to defend risky and brave cinema.”