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Berlin-based sales outfit M-Appeal has acquired Colombian film “The Night of the Beast,” produced by Fidelio Films and directed by Mauricio Leiva-Cock — the emerging showrunner behind Netflix’s “Green Frontier” and Movistar’s “Capital Noise.”

Leiva-Cock’s debut feature, “The Night of the Beast,” is an urban road trip that follows two Bogota teenagers trying to get into the first Iron Maiden concert in Colombia, a historic event that had been awaited for three decades by fans of the metal band which eventually came to pass in 2008 in the Colombian capital. Metalheads of all ages pawned their instruments and saved for months to get the tickets.

Still in post-production, the film features a soundtrack of songs from Iron Maiden such as “Aces High” and “The Trooper” alongside Colombian metal bands like Vein, Agony, Masacre, Darkness, La Pestilencia and others.

Vargas and Chuki, the lead characters, cross the city in what comes across as a very loving portrait of Bogotá that embraces both its beauty and harshness. This is a sincere comedy about friendship that proposes new narratives diverging from stories the world has come to expect from Colombian cinema.

Leiva-Cock points out: “It’s not the Colombian film that is usually seen through festivals. It doesn’t have the usual norms. It’s not a film about poverty, violence or death; it’s a film about two teenagers going to a metal concert. Sometimes people don’t see these stories fitting into our narrative, when to me they are as much ours as anyone else’s.”

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The Night of the Beast M-Appeal

Having passed through Tribeca and Malaga’s respective Work in Progress sections, the film embraces the rarely portrayed niche of Latin American metal fans, notoriously fervent in Colombia. The script, written by Leiva-Cock and Benjamín Figueroa, depicts through its two protagonists the more human and tender side of metal, relying less on the punch of the humor and more on the sincere relationship that spawns from the two friends, both natural actors.

“We got a note after a test group that the main characters should be tougher and meaner, which bothered me because it comes from this prejudice that a ‘metalero’ has to be those things,” Leiva-Cock told Variety. “It’s a stereotype which is deeply false. We worked with many metalheads and it’s [a] huge group filled with everything, but especially immensely clever and self-educated people. This need of a violent character comes from the idea of violent Colombian characters, while the truth is we are not simply these archetypes”.

The film, along with “Capital Noise” — Leiva-Cock’s latest show — explores the recent past of Colombia’s ‘90s and ‘00s through the eyes of young generations still learning to understand the reality that surrounds them. This follows an ever-growing wave of Latin American stories that are shaped by their context yet not defined by it.

“We were also asked why the film wasn’t more political about the violence of those years and that misses the point. To me it is far more political to talk about how culture, and specifically music, can become this tool against violence, or in this film specifically, the value of friendship — postures that are not intrinsically political, but which have to do with how we behave towards one another.”

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The Night of the Beast Fidelio Films and Carlos A. López