In what marks the company’s first Latin American project, Alec Baldwin’s El Dorado Pictures has boarded Chilean filmmaker Francisca Alegria’s debut feature, “The Cow Who Sang a Song About the Future.” The multi-Emmy-winning actor and his El Dorado partner Casey Bader will serve as executive producers of the film, slated to start principal photography in Valdivia, Chile by April next year.
Alegria’s first feature is based on her acclaimed short “The Whole Sky Fit in the Dead Cow’s Eye,” winner of the best international fiction short award at the Sundance Film Festival in 2017.
“Francisca Alegria is creating a unique and engaging story set in a world of magical realism and stunning art. We are excited to join her in this process,” said Baldwin.
He added: “Her filmmaking style is original and powerful and she certainly has a dynamic and promising career ahead.”
For El Dorado, boarding “The Cow Who Sang a Song About the Future” dovetails with its mandate to foster new and innovative auteur filmmaking from around the world.
Argentine thesp Mia Maestro (“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn”), Chile’s Leonor Varela (“Dallas,” “Blade 2”), Alfredo Castro (“From Afar,” “Museum”) and upcoming talent Lucas Balmaceda (“The Prince”) lead the cast.
Like Alegria’s short, “The Cow…” adapts a magical realist tone in a drama set in the verdant countryside of southern Chile where animals sing about the future of the planet while a family faces its painful past.
Varela plays a single mother, Cecilia, who returns to her childhood home with her 19-year-old son (Balmaceda) where she is confronted by a series of surreal events, including the deaths of hundreds of cows and the reappearance of her long dead mother (Maestro), whose suicide profoundly marked the family.
Developed at the Sundance Lab, with support from Cinereach, the Rotterdam Film Festival, Berlinale’s World Cinema Fund as well as funds from Chile and Brazil, “The Cow…” is produced by Jirafa Films – run by Bruno Bettati and Matias de Bourguignon – one of Chile’s leading auteur-driven film companies.
Jirafa’s previous credits include: “Los Perros” by Marcela Said (Cannes Critics’ Week, 2017), “The Blind Christ” (Venice International Film Festival, 2016) and “Much Ado About Nothing” by Alejandro Fernández Almendras (Sundance and Berlin, 2016).
Vania Catani’s Bananeira Films of Brazil (“Zama”), Tom Dercourt’s Paris-based Cinema Defacto and Dan Wechsler’s Bord Cadre Films (Switzerland) are co-producers.
Cologne-based the Match Factory began selling international rights to “The Cow…” at Cannes.
Jirafa and El Dorado are currently seeking gap financing for the feature. Bettati and Dercourt were at Toronto while de Bourguignon, Alegria and Bader are attending IFP Week in New York, which runs September 15-19.
Bettati and De Bourguignon next fly to Spain’s San Sebastian Int’l Film Festival which runs Sept. 20 – 28, where they will also be on the lookout for new co-production possibilities.
El Dorado’s latest films include “Beast Beast” by Danny Madden, which is based on the short, “Krista,” and documentary “Flint” by Anthony Baxter, about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. Both projects are currently in post. Its previous films have screened at festivals including Cannes, Sundance, and Champs-Élysées.