KimStim has acquired North American rights to Kiro Russo’s “El Gran Movimiento” (aka “The Great Movement”), Bolivia’s official submission for the Oscars’ international feature race.

The film world premiered at the Venice Film Festival where it received the special jury prize at the Horizons strand and went on to play at New York and San Sebastian, among other festivals. KimStim plans to release the film in theaters in mid-2022.

Sold by Belgium-based Best Friend Forever, “El Gran Movimiento” marks Russo’s follow-up to his debut “Dark Skull,” which won a prize at Locarno and San Sebastian in 2016 and also represented Bolivia in the Oscar race.

Shot in the Bolivian mountains in contemporary La Paz, the film follows Elder who arrives in the capital after a seven-day journey seeking to get back his work at a mine. Once in the city, Elder gets a job but his health soon deteriorates. An elderly woman known as Mama Pancha sends him to Max, a mysterious man, who will perform a series of shamanic rituals to bring the young man back to life.

“We were totally stunned by Russo’s cinematic and hypnotic vision and thought it was one of the most intriguing works we screened at the New York Film Festival last month,” said KimStim’s Ian Stimler who negotiated the deal with Best Friend Forever’s co-founder Martin Gondre.

“‘El Gran Movimiento’ focuses on people dealing with the contradictions of industrialization and indigenous traditions in a mesmerizing and haunting cinematic fashion,” added Stimler.

The film stars Julio César Ticona, Max Bautista Uchasara, Francisca Arce de Aro, Israel Hurtado and Gustavo Milán. It was produced by Russo and Pablo Paniagua at Socavón and Alexa Rivero at Altamar Films.