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CANNES: Latido Boards Colombian Social Thriller ‘Killing Jesus’

Variety logo Variety 5/21/2017 Emiliano De Pablos
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After a reported sales agents’ bidding war at Cannes, Madrid-based Latido Films has snagged international sales rights to Colombian social thriller “Matar a Jesús” (“Killing Jesus”), the feature debut of writer-director Laura Mora.

Selected as a project for the 2015 Berlinale Co-Production Market, “Killing Jesus,” currently in post, teams Bogotá and Cali-based outfit 64-A Films with Argentina’s AZ Films.

Inspired by real events that happened 14 years ago in Mora’s life, the film follows Paula, a young art student, that witnesses the assassination of her father, a human rights advocate in Medellín. Pain-struck, she runs up against the ignorance and ineffectiveness of government agencies that show no interest in investigating the case. Paula and her family realize that they are just another number on a long list of Colombia’s conflict victims. Driven by anger, frustration and sorrow, she commits fearless acts that put her and her family  at risk.

“The frustration of not knowing who killed her father, or why, makes her desire for vengeance grow. So she tracks down the murderer to kill him,” Diego Ramírez, 64-A Films co-founder, said at Cannes.

He added: “The film revolves around how that desire for revenge in turn grows into a need for reflection on Colombia’s current situation. All movies have a responsibility, and this one does all the more because of the historical moment we are now living. ‘Killing Jesus’ asks if revenge by victims solves a personal situation. In the end, it doesn’t solve anything at all.”

“’Killing Jesus’ is good proof of the quality, depth and market reach that Colombian cinema can show,” said Juan Torres, head of international sales at Latido.

The film was shot scene-by-scene in chronological order with largely non-pro actors, who didn’t know the next scene nor the movie’s outcome until its end, Ramírez said.

Mora previously co-directed Caracol TV’s milestone series “Escobar, El Patrón del Mal,” alongside Carlos Moreno, who asked her to come on board after seeing her award-winning shorts “West,” “Brotherhood” and “Salomé.”

Features produced by 64-A Films include Moreno’s Sundance players “Dog Eat Dog” and “All Your Dead Ones.” As a production services provider in Colombia, the company has worked on Ken Sanzel’s “Blunt Force Trauma.”

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