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Jirafa, Calamar, Zafiro, Color Monster Team On ‘Dogs’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Emilio Mayorga

CANNES— Chile’s Jirafa Films, producer of Christopher Murray’s “The Blind Christ” and Alicia Scherson’s “Il Futuro” has teamed with Zafiro Cinema in Mexico, Chile’s Calamar Cine and Bolivia’s Color Monster to produce Vinko Tomičić sophomore outing, “Dogs” (“Perros”).

“Dogs” won the Best Pitch Award at the spring session of Cannes’ Cinéfondation Résidence. It will follow 13-year-old Martín, an orphan shoeshine boy from La Paz, Bolivia, who has lived his entire life on the streets and still hopes to find his father. Driven by his imagination, Martín begins to suspect that one of his best clients – Mr. Novoa, a lonely tailor– might be his father. Martín devises a plan: to kidnap Mr. Novoa’s dog so as to be able to be closer to him.

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“Through documentary techniques, the director immerses the spectator in the world of young shoe shines from La Paz.

Second, he has an ethical take, dignifying a job that even his characters are ashamed of. With it he builds bridges between the cinemas of Chile, Mexico and Bolivia,” said producer Bruno Bettati at Jirafa Films-

One of Chile’s most respected actors, Alfredo Castro (“The Club,” “Far Away,” “Museo”) will star in “Dogs.” The producer are looking for a real shoeshine in Bolivia to play Martín.

Vinko Tomičić’ feature debut “El fumigador” (“Cockroach”) world-premiered at Estonia’s Black Nights Film Festival and won best feature Chile’s Sanfic Festival.

“’Dogs’ is a drama that will be shot in the middle of the Andean plateau, in La Paz, Bolivia,” Tomičić’ told Variety. “The sensation of  a labyrinth, coming from its narrow sloping alleyways, is an ideal context in which to portray our protagonist’s search for a home.”

Founded last year by Edher Campos at Machete Producciones,  Zafiro Cinema and producer Gabriela Maire boarded “Dogs” after discovering the project at Guadalajara’s Co-production Meeting. “Dogs” was presented in Mexico by Tomičić’ label, Calamar Cine, and Álvaro Manzano at Bolivia’s Color Monster.

“Dogs” was also selected at Venice Biennale College Cinema and EAVE Puentes, the Europe-Latin America film development workshop backed by the E.U. Media Program.

“Since my first works, my aim has always been to depict, in detail, lonely characters who are forced to suffering as a consequence of damaged relationships,” Tomičić added. “My interest focuses on that moment when that suffering pushes the characters to rebel. In general, their rebellion fails, crushing their last chances to change.”

Elena Lopez Riera’s “The Water” won another Cannes’ Cinéfondation Résidence pitching awards. Carla Simón’s “Alcarrás” and Aboozar Amini’s “Ways to Run” took jury special mentions.

“Dogs” is scheduled to go into production in October.

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