Uruguay’s Coral Cine is closing Spanish distribution rights with Barcelona-based A Contracorriente Films for its documentary “Benedetti, 60 Años con Luz,” which chronicles the 60-year love story of renowned Uruguayan author-poet Mario Benedetti and his wife Luz López Alegre, helmed by Coral Cine’s Andres Varela and shot by Oscar-nominated DoP Cesar Charlone (“City of God”).
Charlone is the sole juror of the ongoing 2nd ARCA International Festival of Films on Art (Jan. 2-7).
Mexico’s Vendo Cine is snagging Mexican rights while Buenos Aires and L.A.-based international sales company Punctum, which focuses exclusively on Latin American documentaries, has grabbed worldwide sales rights.
A Contracorriente first eyed the doc at the Iberseries & Platino Iberoamerican film-TV event last September in Madrid. Doc has since opened in Uruguay where it played for an unprecedented 12 weeks, said Varela.
In other exclusive news, Fernando Meirelles’ O2 Filmes has boarded Coral Cine documentary “Partido” (“Party”), previously titled “Brazil, What the Hell Happened?,” which Charlone directs along with Coral Cine co-founder Sebastián Bednarik and Brazil’s Joaquim Castro. Charlone, who flew to Brazil to shoot president-elect Lula’s inauguration to complete his doc about the country’s political events, is a long-time collaborator of Meirelles, having worked on the filmmaker’s acclaimed “City of God,” “The Constant Gardener,” “The Two Popes” and most recently, “Sugar,” a sci fi drama series for Apple TV+.
Charlone also co-directs “Graf Spee” with Varela who is taking the project to Berlinale for further meetings. In the meantime, William Brookfield (“Kidnapping Mr. Heineken”) has joined the writing team that includes Varela and Carlos Andrés Morelli (“Home Team”).
Charlone also serves as cinematographer on “Graf Spee,” a six-part human drama set against the background of the most extraordinary of World War II naval battles, the Battle of the River Plate, which took place off the shores of Montevideo, Uruguay in 1939.
“Graf Spee” was among the dozen scripted series projects pitched at the 4th Conecta Fiction, the Europe-Latin America TV co-production forum in Spain.
Meanwhile, the third doc Varela is directing, “The Child Who Dreamt” (“L’Enfant qui reve”), with Charlone as DoP, will continue filming in France in March. Argentina’s Santiago Otheguy, (“Monos,” “La León”) has signed on as editor while France’s 24images Prod. has boarded as a co-producer, said Varela.
“The Child Who Dreamt” is an-depth look at artist Philip Genty, now in his early 80s, who is renowned for combining dance, pantomime, object theatre, puppetry, music and light to comment on the human experience.
On the television side, pre-production has begun on Coral Cine’s first fiction television series, the online dating dramedy “Is it Love” (“Es Amor?”) with Bednarik directing-showrunning and Charlone overseeing the photography direction of the series, which will be entirely filmed on 4K cell phones.
As executive producers of ARCA, which kicked off its second edition Jan. 2 and wraps Jan. 7, Varela and Bednarik have also taken on the challenge of dealing with logistics and overwhelming audience attendance.