Independent film sales and distribution firm Outsider Pictures has acquired the international sales rights to Peruvian director V. Checa’s neo-noir film “Tiempos Futuros” (“The Shape of Things to Come”) and will lead sales to potential buyers at this March’s Málaga Film Festival.
Playing Zonazine, which focuses on bolder plays by up-and-coming cineastes, “Tiempos Futuros” serves as Checa’s debut feature film. It follows the relationship between an obsessive father, Luiz (played by Fernando Bacillio, “El Mudo”), and his resourceful son, Teo (Lorenzo Molina), as they build a weather-controlling machine in a dystopian Lima, Peru.
To ease financial troubles, Teo joins a gang of teenage spies who lend him money to support him and his father but strain the relationship between the two.
To Checa, the film “was nourished by the context we live in,” referencing the silence brought by the COVID-19 pandemic and the authoritarian nature of governments and parents, with the smile of Teo as “perhaps the last vestige of an innocence lost forever.”
The film is produced by some of the drivers of the Spanish-language genre such as Peru’s Javier Salvador (“Aj Zombies”), Ecuador’s Sebastián Cordero, writer-director of “Europa Report,” Guillermo del Toro producer Bertha Navarro, David Matamoros and Ángeles Hernández, co-producer of Netflix smash hit “The Platform,” and Christoph Hahnheiser.
It shot in Lima, Peru, and involved production firms Pierrot Films, Salamandra Films, Números Primos, Black Forest Films, Doce Entertainment, Estudios Churubusco and Manosanta.
As the story’s centerpiece, Teo “manages to convey a fascinating interior world with little dialogue or expressions, drawing humanity and empathy into this unique Latin-American steampunk world,” said Cordero.
After a successful premiere at the Rebels with a Cause section of the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, Paul Hudson, president of Outsider Pictures, negotiated with Checa, along with the film’s co-producers, to acquire the international sales rights to “Tiempos Futuros.”
“Watching ‘Tiempos Futuros’ was a breath of fresh air,” explained Hudson, “it’s hard to pigeonhole the film – is it noir? sci-fi? But it works and entertains and introduces us to a talented new director.”
This sales acquisition comes in a period of expanded influence of Spanish-language films and TV series. Of Netflix’s all time top five non-English-language films, three are Spanish-language, with a combined 275.4 million views over their first 28 days of streaming.
As the market for consumption of Spanish-language media expands in North and Latin America, independent Spanish-language films with a genre edge such as “Tiempos Futuros” look set to be in ever more demand from distributors and consumers.
Outsider Pictures is an assiduous distributor of Spanish-language films. Recent high-profile acquisitions include Chile’s Oscar submission “White on White” by Théo Court and “Feliz Año Tijuana,” by Andrew van Baal. It focuses much of its business on bringing foreign movies to screens in the U.S. and Canada, two large markets for foreign-language films.
The film shot in Lima, Peru, and is produced by Pierrot Films, Salamandra Films, Números Primos, Black Forest Films, Doce Entertainment, Estudios Churubusco and Manosanta.