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Peru’s Oscars Entry From Adrian Saba Pounced On by Film Republic (EXCLUSIVE)

U.K. based sales agency Film Republic has picked up Peru’s 2024 Oscar entry “The Erection of Toribio Bardelli,” the latest film from Adrián Saba, one of Peru’s most prominent auteurs on the festival scene.

Film Republic has also shared a first international trailer with Variety. The film screens this week in Los Angeles at the  GuadaLAjara Film Festival LA, which runs Nov. 1-3. V&R Films distributes in Peru, Livres Distribution in Brazil.

Set in central Lima, “The Erection of Toribio Bardelli” captures the Bardelli family in deep grief at the death of the wife and mother, Toribio Bardelli, the father suffering erectile dysfunction.

Feeling out of place in a current world, clinging to old world values such as virility but, as captured in a first scene in a brothel, Toribio can’t even get it up.

He mourns the death of his wife, can’t get over her infidelity to him during many years, but Toribio and his children mourns life itself – a loss of faith in life taking a change for the better: That Toribio can find love with another woman, impossible for him to conceive without vigorous sex; that Sara, who is blind can lead a normal life; that Luz can make it as a writer; to that Silvestre, who has had a hard attack, can ever be better.       

“They’re a group of disenchanted dreamers with no clear path forward. The Bardelli family are helpless individuals with unfulfilled dreams and uncertain futures,” Saba told Variety. “Each one of them, with their life half done, is reluctantly seeking to make sense of it all. It is a tale of searching, yearning, and confronting the inherent uncertainties of life.”

Notably, however, “The Erection” is insistently knit by comedy, the deeper the sense of tragedy, the more outrageous the humor.

“I always knew that this story had to be told with humor,” Saba commented. “It is a very important element in my personal life, which not only offers me peace, but it also gives me perspective on life. I always oscillate between hope and despair for our world. And finding humor amidst despair seems to be the last bastion of faith for me.”

Writer-director of 2012 “The Cleaner,” which screened in San Sebastian’s New Directors sidebar winning a special jury mention, Saba also directed “The Dreamer,” which launched at Berlin’s Generation 14plus in 2016. “The Erection” was developed at the Cannes Festival’s Cinéfondation Residency.

Exploring loneliness and, in its way, a coming of age tale, with of which could be said of “The Cleaner” and “The Dreamer,” Saba recognized, “The Erection of Toribio Bardelli” stars Gustavo Bueno, Peru’s most renowned actor, star of the biggest titles from Francisco J. Lombardi such as 1985’s “The City and the Dogs.” Gisela Ponce de León (“How to Get Over a Breakup”) plays Sara, Rodrigo Sánchez Patiño is Silvestre, Michele Abascal is Luz.

Film Republic sold Saba’s first two features, produced like “The Erection” by Carolina Denegri from Animalita and La Gris Films. “The Erection” is co-produced with Ana Alice de Morais at Brazil’s 3 Moinhos.

“It’s great to work with the director-producer team of Adrián Saba and Carolina Denegri on their third feature,” said Xavier Henry-Rashid, managing director at Film Republic.

“In all his films, Adrián digs deep into the human condition. In ‘The Erection.’ he talks about the story of loss of suffering in such a humorous manner, and we think distributors will continue to love his approach to storytelling.”

Source : Yahoo News