Continuing its large commitment to movies from new Latin American talent, L.A.-based sales, distribution and production company FiGa Films has closed worldwide rights on Chilean Rodrigo Marin’s Zoológico, effectively putting it on the market for foreign sales. The deal announcement comes as Fi- Ga has closed France with producer-turned distributor Nicolas Breviere (See the Sea) on A Useful Life, from Uruguayan director Federico Veiroj.
Life first played and won San Sebastián’s Films in Progress in 2009 and then won a special mention at Donostia’s Zabaltegi- New Directos last year.
Written by Marín and Rodrigo Taulis, “Zoologico” portrays the lives of three Americanized 16-ish teens, which is largely lived out online. One, Camilo, attempts to adapt to his new family; another, Belen, insists on recording a video to try to get a part in a TV show; a third, Anibal, becomes increasingly violent. “There’s an upper-middle class youth in Santiago de Chile which doesn’t have much contact with anyone outside school,” FiGa’s Sandro Fiorin said at San Sebastián’s Films in Progress. It spends its time online, texting, hunched over their computers, and becoming cold and cruel,” he added.
“These are young people who will rule the country and the world in ten or 15 years. It’s a problem which is prevalent in Santiago de Chie but seen the world over.” First seen at the Valdivia fest’s AustraLab, then at the Toulouse Festival’s Films in Progress in March, “Zoologico” world preems in Competition at October’s Valdivia Festival in Chile. It is produced by Ana Perera’s Lastarria. Marin’s Las niñas played San Sebastián in 2009.
“Though its local distribution is quite problematic, as in Brazil and Argentina, Chilean cinema is exciting. Its funding system is working very well,” said Fiorin. “There’s a crop of young filmmakers with a very strong identity and high production values. They make small films look stunning,” he added. A San Sebastián habitué, Fiorin has bought films at all recent Films in Progress editions: Most recently Mexican Kyzza Terrazas’s Machete Language and Veiroj’s Life. Films in Progress “has become something we do. They do the triage for us.
We always fall in love with one or two titles,” Fiorin said at San Sebastián. Breviere, who is setting up his own distribution company, aims to release “Life” on four prints by the end of the year. Picked up at San Sebastián by FiGa last year, Life has sold to U.K.’s Dogwoof.
Kid Sister opened Life in Mexico. Manuel Garcia’s Tren - another new distributor, like Local and Kid Sister - bowed Life in Argentina where it has played theaters for six weeks.
Julio Hernández Cordón’s Marimbas From Hell, seen at San Sebastian last year, has been picked up for North America by Venevision, and for Latin America, Spain and Portugal by Ibermedia.