By Anne de la Fuente
Shot in 84 locations across little-known swaths of northern Colombia, Un Certain Regard entry "Los viajes del viento" by Ciro Guerra boasts a complex web of international backers from as far afield as Germany, Holland and Argentina. Not surprisingly, none of these investors chose to visit the set when they were told what such an endeavor entailed: sunblock, gumboots (aka Wellingtons), yellow fever vaccinations, enough water to withstand temperatures of 104 F (40 C), as well long hikes and transportation by mule and canoe.
Evoking the magic realism of a Gabriel Garcia Marquez tale, the story tracks a widower and his cursed accordion as well as the youth who joins him in his search for the instrument's original owner.
For producers Cristina Gallego and Diana Bustamante of Ciudad Lunar Prods., the long and arduous process of finding investors for an estimated $2 million production began in 2005 when they secured script development coin of 10 million pesos ($4,345 in today's exchange rate) from Colombia's FDC film fund.
After getting some support from the World Cinema Fund in February, the doors to foreign money began to really open in Cannes 2007 when "Los viajes" was invited to participate in its atelier. First to board was Argentina's Cine Ojo and Primer Plano. Armed with Latino partners, Ciudad Lunar received coin from Iberomerican co-production fund Ibermedia while their Argentine partners tapped cash from Argentine film institute Incaa.
They soon closed with Rotterdam-based Volya Films and Germany's Razor Films, which presold German rights to webs ZDF and Arte. Coin from the Hubert Bals and Rotterdam Film funds followed.
They next tapped private Colombian investors, including Cinemart, mining company Carboandes, leading bakery Myriam Camhi and lastly RCN Cine, which ponied up 11% of the budget.
"Having German, Dutch, Argentine and Colombian partners forced us to understand three different cultures with their distinct languages and co-production laws," Gallego says.
Indie distrib Cineplex distributes "Los viajes" in Colombia, where it debuted April 30.