Toronto-based Syndicado Film Sales has acquired international sales rights to lyrical Venezuela-set road-movie “Un cielo tan turbio” (“So Foul a Sky”), the sophomore feature by Spanish-born filmmaker Álvaro F. Pulpeiro (“Nocturno: Ghosts of the Sea in Port”).
The film world premieres on April 24, competing in the Next Wave section at the Copenhagen Intl. Documentary Film Festival – better known as CPH:DOX – which runs April 21-May 12.
A Colombia-Spain-U.K. co-production, “So Foul a Sky” is produced by Laura C. Solano at Colombia’s Camara Lenta, Víctor Paz Moradeira at Spain’s Cuarta Parede Films and Clive Patterson from multi-award winning English company Insight TWI.
Under shadows cast by colossal oil refineries, emerging from the desert like chrome cathedrals, the dark and sensory documentary presents a journey through several frontier lands of Venezuela.
A lyrical piece oscillating between distant landscapes and intrusive intimacy, the film explores the concept of orphans deprived of identity and national rights through a series of sporadic encounters with people who live rejecting all that compels them to take sides in active political conflict.
The film’s gamut of characters encompasses run from sleepy soldiers who patrol the Caribbean Seas and migrants drifting through lugubrious posts at the Brazil-Venezuela border to smugglers venturing out across the Guajira Desert, trafficking the last remaining barrels of embargoed gasoline.
“’So Foul a Sky’ is a cinematographic meditation on the fragile and conflictive relationship between the citizen and a state that has ceased to provide meaning, future and identity,” says Pulpeiro, a writer, filmmaker and photographer, currently based between Colombia’s Barranquilla and London, where he graduated from its School of Architecture in 2015.
“Taking as a starting point certain sensibilities of Joseph Conrad’s “Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard,” this film finds in contemporary Venezuela an illustration of a nation-state on the brink of political, economic, and first and foremost, symbolic collapse,” Pulpeiro argued.
“In this context of negligence, obscurity, and hostility from the father/state towards its child/citizen, is where the film is framed,” he added.
Shot over a period of two years working in different isolated areas of Venezuela, the documentary has formed part of development labs such as DocsBarcelona 2020 and counts on the support of London-based post-production studio Cheat.
“So Foul a Sky” forms part of the dozen films that world sales and production company Syndicado acquires every year, focusing on auteurist, cinematic and character-driven narratives that convey an universal approach. The Spanish rights of the documentary are excluded from the Syndicado deal.