Anna Marie de la Fuente reports for Variety:
In its continued bid to provide a diverse range of films from Latin America, HBO Latino has acquired U.S. pay TV rights to Bolivian Gory Patiño’s thriller “Muralla” from Alfredo Calviño of Habanero Film Sales.
“Muralla” was Bolivia’s official entry to the 2019 Oscars and Golden Globes. Back home, where it had a 10-week theatrical run, it became the highest-grossing Bolivian film in 15 years.
Its Spanish title “Muralla,” (‘wall’ in English) is the titular nickname of the lead character who has earned it for his blocking skills as a goalkeeper. With his soccer career behind him, he is scraping out a living as a taxi driver. Desperate to save his gravely sick child, he is drawn into the underworld of human trafficking to make some serious cash.
After a festival run that has included Guadalajara, the Sydney Latin American fest, Vancouver Latino, and Brazil’s Gramado, “Muralla” will soon have a theatrical release in Argentina.
“Having ‘Muralla’ form part of HBO’s programming means reaching a much higher level of visibility,” said an elated Patiño, adding: “Cinema is the ideal way to get to know other cultures and ‘Muralla’ will be another window for people from other countries to know about Bolivia’s reality and the quality of our cinema, its actors and its crew.”
“Knowing that your story is received positively by your people and will now be available to be seen in other latitudes is gratifying and motivates me to continue telling stories that showcase my essence, my voice,” he continued, noting that it is not the first Bolivian film to be picked up by HBO Latino. “Muralla” is scheduled to bow on the premium pay TV platform by February 2020.
Meanwhile, Patiño’s upcoming film, “Pseudo” is in the final stages of its post-production in Santiago de Chile at Panolab for image and at Yagan Films for sound, the latter founded by Matias Echevarria, Christian Cosgrove and Maria Paz Eberhard in 2017.
Co-written and directed with Spain’s Luis Reneo, “Pseudo,” is a political thriller that follows a taxi driver who gets caught up in a deadly operation when he steals the identity of a passenger. “We are currently analyzing the dates for the premiere in Bolivia and together with our distributor Habanero, we’re defining our festival strategy,” said Patiño who pointed out that Habanero had awarded a distribution prize to the drama at the Havana Film Festival.
His next project, “Rock Paper Scissors,” originally in English and one of the top 10 Awardees at the Slamdance Screenwriting Competition a few years ago, has recently won backing from the Madrid Community Development Fund. Co-scribe Reneo has made a Spanish version of the film, which will likely shoot in Madrid.
Patiño describes the thriller as “three stories of couples whose lives intersect as they obey the logic of the game: Love kills jealousy, jealousy kills ambition, but ambition kills love.”
Patiño’s “Pseudo” was among the first Bolivian films to benefit from the country’s new state fund, which has spurred more films into development and production in Bolivia.