In deals forged during Ventana Sur, Chile’s Naira Films has secured the backing of Italy’s Keep Digging Prod. and Chile’s “Perro Bomba” producer Infractor Films to complete the financing of their Chilean independence war film “The Wealth of the World” (“La Riqueza del mundo”). The feature debut of artist-painter Simon Farriol is now being edited with a release slated for the second half of next year.
Set in 1814, “The Wealth of the World” pivots on a peasant (played by “To Kill a Man’s” Daniel Candia) rendered deaf by a bullet, and a soldier blinded during the war who become unlikely partners as they flee through a menacing war-ravaged countryside peopled with unusual characters.
It is, in a way, an expanded version of Farriol’s short “Un Hombre en la tierra de Dios,” (“A Man on God’s Earth”), a 2015 Cannes Short Film Corner selection, which follows a soldier as he wanders in a bleak winter landscape with the sounds of war in the distance.
“ ‘The Wealth of the World’ is a profound revisionist look at history, which questions the basis on which Latin America was founded and which are still under discussion today,” said Ivo Malinarich, founder of Naira Films, adding: “It recounts the region’s social crisis from its founding state, referring to the inequality that is still manifested today in every corner of Latin America.”
Looking back at historical events allows us to understand the present identity of Latin America, Malinarich asserted. “The memory of Latin America owes a great debt to past revolts; our streets are built on the death of people who gave their lives for one or more causes. To speak of war is to speak of hunger, abandonment, misery, fear and death. It is a world in which the standards of normality are totally reversed, losing complete meaning and logic,” he said.
Infractor’s Alejandro Ugarte said that Chile has produced only one film about this particular time in history, “El Husar de la muerte”(“The Hussar of Death”), a 1925 Chilean silent film by Pedro Sienna.
“[‘Wealth of the World’] is in line with what we have already been working on with ‘Perro Bomba,’” said Ugarte. “It is a kind of cinema that immerses the viewer in a critical imaginary world, a film that from esthetic and cinematographic points of view, invites audiences to reflect while being entertained.”
Shot mainly on location, the film has a Western feel to it, said Ugarte.
Maximiliano Bolados of Keep Digging said: “We see co-production between Latin America and Europe firstly as a creative need, and secondly as a commercial bridge, which allows us to offer spectacular cinema, replete with emotion and diversity, that reaches a wider spectrum of new audiences through local stories with international appeal.”
Chile and Italy signed a co-production treaty in 2013, which allows for each country to tap each other’s available tax incentives, government funds or attract more private funding in order to expand their budgets.