Rome-based 102 Distribution is bringing onto the market the Mexico-Italo co-production “500 Millions of Red Shoes,” directed by first time director Carlos Eichelmann Kaiser and co-produced by Mexico’s BHD Film.

Gabriela Maldonado and Alexandro de Icaza are producing for BHD. Maria Pia Billi and Paolo Ansaldi are the Italian producers for 102 Distribution; Dimitri Sassone is the line producer.

“500 Million” was financed by Mexico’s Imcine film agency with the Eficine tax incentive instrument established in 2006 by article 189 of the income tax law. It shot in the spring of 2020.

The movie went into production in Mexico where red shoes have become symbolic of the protest surrounding violence against women. The red shoe movement began with an art project in 2009 by Mexican artist Elina Chauvet.

A fiction film, “500 Millions of Red Shoes” is set in a forgotten part of the Mexican mountains. Tacho, a farmer, tends to his plot of land as life passes him by. When he receives news of his daughter’s death, he travels to the city to bring her body home. He discovers a world that is alien to him there.

The project took part in the Morelia International Film Festival’s (FICM) Impulso Morelia 7 section that showcases Mexican feature films in different stages of editing and post-production.

“This project is about redemption, specifically spiritual redemption as profound as a return to our origins; a redemption that defies death itself,” said 102’s Director of Distribution Tommaso Cerqueglini.

“A man must overcome a series of obstacles to recoup all that which he loves, so he can feel it close to him as part of his physical surroundings. Redemption is a universal theme that pushes us to the extremes of ecstasy and disillusionment. In ‘500 Million Red Shoes,’ redemption is a painful reality that our characters are able to transcend by doing penance of sorts,” he added.

The Red Shoes art movement started in 2009 when Chauvet created her installation speaking out against femicide and the abuse of women. Since then, red shoes have become symbolic of the struggle for women’s rights and gender-based violence.

Again in January 2020, activists placed hundreds of red women’s shoes in Mexico City’s main square to draw attention to violence against women. In Mexico, an average of 10 women and girls are murdered each day. Less than 10% of the cases are ever solved, according to official figures.

The 2020 installation, in which activists painted 300 pairs of footwear red, was accompanied by a 24-hour strike by women in which they remained absent from the workplaces and public life. The strike had a hashtag #UnDiaSinNosotras.

“500 Millions of Red Shoes” is being launched at Ventana Sur where 102 is taking part in the online market. Other projects 102 is presenting during the five-day market include documentary “Xeneizes- Boca: The Origins,” which looks at the soccer phenomenon in this Buenos Aires barrio. The doc-feature includes interviews with legendary footballers like Diego Alberto Milito and Nicolas Burdisso.

A second project the company is focusing on during Latin America’s largest content market is “Oliver and the Pool,” by Arcadi Palerm. This feature looks at the resilience of Mexican teenagers. The story focuses on a 13-year-old boy who starts to learn forgiveness and love holding his father’s ashes in his hands.

102 Distribution’s other titles at Ventana Sur include “Madre Planta,” about a group of mothers in Argentina looking for plant remedies for their unwell children, and Mexican drama “50 (Two Whales at the Beach).” This tells the story of 17-year-old Felix who finds Elsa after he accepts a challenge to take part in a game where players have to kill themselves at the end.

BHD’s production credits take in “El Otro Tom,” “Ricochet,” and “Amores Modernos.”

Ventana Sur is taking place as a hybrid market this year, with the majority of sales activities happening online.

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‘500 Millions of Red Shoes’ BHD FILMS/102 DISTRIBUTION