Heretic, the Athens-based boutique production company and sales agent, has acquired world sales rights for “Tengo sueños eléctricos” (“I Have Electric Dreams”), by director Valentina Maurel, which will have its premiere in the Locarno Film Festival’s international competition.
Set in Costa Rica, the film follows Eva (Daniela Marin Navarro), a strong-willed 16-year-old girl who lives with her mother, her younger sister and their cat, but desperately wants to move in with her estranged father (Reinaldo Amien Guttierez). Clinging onto him as he goes through a second adolescence, she balances between the tenderness and sensitivity of teenage life and the ruthlessness of the adult world.
Produced by Wrong Men (Belgium) and co-produced with Geko Films (France) and Tres Tigres (Costa Rica), the film straddles the fine line between love and hate, in a world where aggression and rage are intertwined with the vertigo of female sexual awakening.
“‘I Have Electric Dreams’ got us hooked from the very first minutes in the story,” said Heretic’s head of sales and acquisitions Ioanna Stais. “It is a heart-piercing portrait that gets under your skin and demands your emotional response to every scene. Valentina’s directorial voice is rich, raw, sensitive and honest, and we are proud to board such a strong team.”
Maurel won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival’s Cinéfondation in 2017 for her short film “Paul est là,” and returned to the Croisette two years later with the short “Lucía en el limbo,” which was selected for Critics’ Week.
Speaking to Variety in Cannes in 2019, the Costa Rican director cited influences including Claire Denis, Lucrecia Martel and Catherine Breillat and said she’s drawn to “cinema that is powerfully anchored in characters.”
“I like dysfunctional characters who are in conflict with their body and desires: they have lice, they smell bad, they have erections at inconvenient moments and in the middle of all that, they try to fit in with social conventions that elude them,” she said. “It’s an intimate cinema, with maybe a little stark insight into the relationships between men and women, young people and adults.”
Other titles on the Heretic slate include Michael Borodin’s “Convenience Store,” which bowed in the Berlin Film Festival’s Panorama strand this year, and “Working Class Heroes,” by Milos Pusic, which stars European Film Academy award winner Jasna Đuričić (“(Quo Vadis, Aida?”) and also premiered in Panorama. The company is also repping Radu Jude’s 2021 Berlin Golden Bear winner “Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn,” and Omar El Zohairy’s “Feathers,” which took the top prize at Cannes’ Critics’ Week last year.