Paraguayan director Paz Encina, whose striking ecological fable and tale of the pain of exile, “Eami,” won the Tiger Award at this year’s Rotterdam Film Festival, is developing a slate of feature film projects, Variety can reveal.
The first project, “Sy,” follows the titular character – whose name means “mother” in the Guarani language – after she receives the news that she’ll give birth to a savior who will also be the son of her god. “In this project I would like to work on a woman’s dichotomy between motherhood and faith,” said Encina.
The second film, “El Único Tiempo,” tells the story of an elderly couple living in exile, where they await news of the son who disappeared during Paraguay’s military dictatorship. When their cat mysteriously vanishes one day, their search for it brings them closer to the life they couldn’t share with their missing son.
Also set in the diaspora, the third film is made up of characters who are displaced by a flood and forced to make a new life among people they barely know. Encina described the untitled project as a “choral film.”
Calling Encina’s complex, magical realist take on the suffering of the indigenous tribes a “powerful film,” the Rotterdam jury said of “Eami”: “It gave us the opportunity to dream and, at the same time, a chance to wake up.”
Encina told Variety the Tiger Award was a “dream” and a “surprise” for her, adding that she “didn’t think it could be possible” to scoop the prestigious prize. “It is a great encouragement for me and for the entire team that made this film possible,” she said.
“Eami,” which is sold internationally by MPM Premium, is lead produced by Paraguay’s Silencio Cine, backed by prestige upscale network Arte France and co-produced by Danny Glover and Joslyn Barnes’ Louverture Films, as well as Sagax in the U.S.
Also co-producing are Paraguay’s Sabaté Films; Germany’s Black Forest Films; MPM Film and Eaux Vives Productions in France; Mexico’s Splendor Omnia, Barraca Producciones, Piano and Grupo LVT; The Netherlands’ Revolver Amsterdam and Fortuna Films; and Argentina’s Gaman Cine.
Sabaté Films founder and producer Gabriela Sabaté also shared with Variety details of two upcoming projects. Her company is partnering with Paraguay’s Sapukai Cine to develop “Remanso,” the sophomore feature of Paraguayan director Pablo Lamar, whose debut “Last Land” bowed in competition in Rotterdam in 2016.
Based on real-life events, the ‘70s-set film takes place during one of the most violent periods of the dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner. It tells the story of a woman who, upon moving to a new neighborhood, discovers the body of a dead girl in the neighboring house of a colonel. Her friends and loved ones insist that she stay silent, but she struggles to reclaim her inner peace.
Sabaté is also co-producing “Elder Son,” director Cecilia Kang’s emotional journey based on a family’s migration from post-war South Korea to Argentina. Currently in development, pic is produced by Juan Pablo Miller’s Tarea Fina and co-produced by France’s In Vivo Films.