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Totoral Media Lab, producers of Chilean docu “Bastard – the Legacy of a Criminal” (“Bastardo – la Herencia de un Genocida”), one of the four non-fiction features participating in Cannes’ Docs in Progress Showcase Chile, has inked a co-production pact at the Marché du Film with Stefilm, Stefano Tealdi’s Italian production house, and Sweden’s Laika Films and TV, represented by Andreas Rocksén and Catalina Donoso.

In addition to the deal, which all but assures its completion, the docu produced by Totoral’s Clara Taricco and Antonia Valenzuela and directed by Pepe Rovano has snagged the Torino Film Lab Audience Design Fund, which aims to implement innovative audience development and outreach strategies at the point of distribution.

Expressing pride for receiving international recognition through the Torino award, Rovano hailed “Bastard’s” “message of reparation and story of injustice and human rights violations.”

“Bastard” follows Rovano as he seeks a biological father he never knew. As he relates it, he was working on a human rights documentary when he found his father who also turned out to be involved in the infamous Las Coimas killings where communist party leaders were arrested and executed when Pinochet came into power. The father, now dying, first accepts him then rejects him when he finds out that Rovano is gay. Rovano then unites with the offspring of his father’s victims in their struggle for truth and justice.

Observed Tealdi: “Pepe lived his years of youth in Italy and this film, triggered by his longing for a father and subsequent return to Chile, most rightly sees the involvement of Italian resources and Stefilm as a co-production partner.”

“The Italian audience will immediately feel the strong bond and connection Pepe has with both countries,” he added.

Laika’s Rocksén concurred: “Pepe Rovano’s ‘Bastardo’ is, with its strong human rights signum, a documentary film that fits very well in the Laika catalog.”

“We are also thrilled to now have Catalina Donoso in our producers’ team; She has been a member of the impact team of ‘Arica,’ a film with a strong Chilean subject, and with Catalina’s extensive experience in the Chilean film industry, there were no doubts when she introduced us to ‘Bastard,’” Rocksén continued.

“Bastard” is emblematic of the profound trauma that generations of Chileans continue to process despite the decades that have passed since Pinochet’s vicious regime ended in 1990. It’s a painful subject matter that Chile’s filmmakers continue to dive into, although they have been exploring new themes and hybrid formats.

The country sees an average of 15 documentaries released per annum although the pandemic’s impact on production over the past 18 months may hamper next year’s yield.

The completed docu will likely have its world premiere by early next year.

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Bastard, the legacy of a criminal Courtesy of ChileDoc/A.Rustom