New York-based sales company Visit Films has acquired worldwide rights for Mexican feature “Summer White,” world premiering in Sundance’s World Cinema Dramatic Competition on Sunday Jan. 26. Visit will also be screening the film at Berlinale’s European Film, Market.
Now a key North American sales company for Latin American films, Visit’s catalog includes other major Sundance titles such as Lucía Garibaldi’s World Cinema Directing Award-winner “The Sharks,” World Cinema Jury Prize-winners “The Queen of Fear” from Valeria Bertuccelli and Fabiana Tiscornia and “Time Share” from Sebastián Hofmann, and Cristián Jiménez and Alicia Scherson’s “Family Life.”
From debut director Rodrigo Ruiz Patterson, “Summer White” features newcomer Adrián Rossi as 13-year-old Rodrigo, a lonesome teenager living on the outskirts of Mexico City who has an unhealthily close relationship with his mother Valeria, played by Mexican Academy Ariel Award-nominated actress Sophie Alexander-Katz (“The Darkest Days of Us”).
When Valeria’s new boyfriend Fernando moves in with the two, the boy sees his world being encroached upon and pushes back in a confrontation between a man that could bring greater happiness into his mother’s life, but emasculates Rodrigo, and the young boy violently testing his limits.
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“’Summer White’ is a coming of age film because it’s about the end of childhood (infancia in Spanish), which etymologically means ‘The impossibility to speak.’ It’s a film about how we deal with complex emotions such as love, dependence, jealousy, that we experience for the first time in our lives. If we can’t speak, in what clumsy ways do we express them? I believe that’s the final goal: To observe in an intimate way how difficult human relations are,” Ruiz explained to Variety at the Los Cabos Intl. Film Festival, where it played the works in progress section before repeating the feat at Argentina’s Ventana Sur market in early December..
Very much a result of Mexico’s Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica (CCC) public film school, Ruiz and many of the crew who worked on the film are graduates, and the school provided financing and production support as part of its Opera Prima (First Feature) program. The program supports alumni working on their debut features and helps pave the way for filmmakers to transition from academics to professionals working in the industry.
Ruiz co-wrote the script with Raúl Sebastián Quintanilla. Alejandro Cortés Rubiales produced the film, backed by the CCC and Mexican agency Imcine Foprocine invetsment.
Ruiz previously wrote and directed shorts “Paradiso” and “Australia,” with the latter receiving an Ariel nomination for Best Short Fiction Film. He also directed the segment “We All Want to Sleep,” part of the omnibus film “La Danza de las Fieras,” a collection of six different stories from the world of human trafficking in Mexico.