PARIS -- Gallic arthouse mini-major Pyramide Films has taken distribution rights to France, a key specialty film market, on Diego Lerman’s “Moral Sciences” and Patricio Guzman’s “Nostalgia for the Light.”
Pyramide has also acquired most international territory rights to the two films.
Deal announcement was made in the run-up to this week’s Ventana Sur market, where Pyramide will be presenting the pics to buyers.
Lerman attracted attention for Locarno Silver Leopard winner “Suddenly” and follow up “Meanwhile.”
“Sciences,” which rolls Dec. 7, is a step up in ambitions.
A 1982-set parable of repression and its consequences, set
in the last days of Argentina’s military dictatorship, “Sciences” turns on a 20-year-old woman monitor at a secondary school who goes to perverse lengths to unmask infringements, however petty, of school discipline.
“The school is a metaphor for the rest of Argentina and how the monitor becomes a victim of the regime she imposes,” Lerman said.
Budgeted at $1.1 million, “Sciences” is produced by Marc Bordure at France’s Agat Films, Imval and Campo Cine, Lerman’s label with producer partner Nicolas Avruj.
“Sciences’” screenplay by Maria Meira and Lerman won a 2009 Sundance/NHK Intl. Filmmakers Award for best Latin American script. Project was showcased at Cannes Festival’s Cinefondation Atelier.
Guzman’s follow up to “Salvador Allende,” docu-feature “Light” turns on the Chilean director’s reflections on the passage of time. These are inspired by observatories in Chile’s Atacama Desert whose telescopes detect the oldest light in the universe. Meanwhile, nearby, families search for the bodies of relatives murdered by Augusto Pinochet’s regime, which lie buried in a mass grave.
“We handled Lerman’s first two films and the script for ‘Sciences’ was great. I was immensely frustrated at not working on ‘Salvador Allende,’” said Pyramide CEO Eric Lagesse.
“Light” is produced by Renate Sachse for France’s Atacama Prods., Germany’s Blinker Prods. and WDR and Chile’s Cronomedia. Now in post, it will be delivered March 2010.