Matias de Bourguignon, Equeco: Rodolfo Cova produced “I Will Mutate”

In one of the first deals struck at Chilean industry forum Sanfic Industria, local indie producers Matias de Bourguignon and Equeco have aboard Venezuelan drama Mutaré como animal del monte, the feature film debut of , played by up-and-coming Venezuelan talent Hector Silva.

Lead produced by Berlin-based Venezuelan producer Rodolfo Cova, whose credits include Venice Golden Lion winner From Afar and Michel Franco’s Cannes winner Un Certain Regard Las Hijas de Abril, I Will Mutate Like a Jungle Animal” is one of 28 titles in the Sanfic Industria Santiago Lab, which supports Ibero-American projects in development.

De Bourguignon and Equeco join international co-producers Pomme Hurlante Films (France), Artrupe Films (Brazil) and Abismo Cine (Ecuador), also drawn to Silva’s feature film debut, whose award-winning short films have screened at major film festivals. including Cannes, Toronto and Tribeca.

“Hector’s shorts moved me deeply. He has a knack for creating atmospheres that transport us with very human characters that always feel real and genuine,” said De Bourguignon.

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Hector Silva
Courtesy of Hector Silva

“When I saw Héctor’s short films, I was fascinated by the atmosphere that surrounds his films, the good taste and the subtlety with which he conveys the stories and characters,” agreed Cova, adding, “Co-productions are not just one Funding mechanism, is a cultural exchange that contributes to the artistic growth of the project and should be fully used and encouraged by all countries.”

“Sanfic’s Santiago Fiction Lab gives us the opportunity to grow and add strong Chilean co-producers like Matías and Equeco, which is a crucial boost at this stage,” he noted. The team is looking for investors, post-production partners and a sales agent at Santiago Lab.

“Mutate…” revolves around 20-year-old Brayan, who returns to his Afro-descended village in a remote Venezuelan jungle after a long absence. After he begins to dream of an animal hiding in the foliage, the lines between reality and dreams begin to blur. Unsure whether to leave his country in crisis or turn to his ancestral roots, Brayan heads deep into the jungle in search of answers.

According to Silva, he began work on his feature film shortly after Venezuela’s deepening crisis forced him to leave Venezuela for Chile, where he now resides. He filmed and set his story in San Jose, a remote Afro community just south of his home region (Zulia State).

“I’ve developed a deep bond with its people since my first visit 12 years ago,” he said. “This film is inspired by a combination of my personal experience after leaving home and the actual experiences of my friends in San Jose,” he said, adding, “Brayan’s story is also the story of millions of young Venezuelans with lesser disabilities Opportunities, plagued by uncertainty, trying to forge a better future for their families at a critical time in our country’s history.” This is a theme he touches on in his 2015 short film “Anfibio” (“Amphibian”), about two close brothers who are torn apart by their elder’s urge to leave home.

De Bourguignon, a former producer at Jirafa who received his MBA from Columbia Business School in New York, is back in the saddle as an independent producer and is also a co-producer on “Ladron de Perros” by Vinko Tomicic (Biennale College, Best Pitch winner at the Cinefondation 2019), now in office. His credits include Francisca Alegria’s Sundance 2022 entry “La vaca que canto una canción hacia el futuro”; “Divino Amor” by Gabriel Mascaro (Sundance 2019) and “The Summer of the Electric Lion” by Diego Cespedes, winner of the Cannes Cinefondation 2018 Grand Prize.

Equeco is founded by producer Pablo Calisto and director Tomás Alzamora, whose first international hit was his feature film debut Little White Lie. At last year’s Cannes, they brought three feature films and one short film to the Marché du Film, ranging in subject matter from dramedies to experimental thrillers and mockumentaries.

Calisto, Alzamora and De Bourguignon, in their early thirties, belong to the new generation of media-savvy post-Pinochet Chilean producers who are turning to a range of materials with global, universal appeal.

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Producers Matias de Bourguignon & Rodolfo Cova
Courtesy of Matias Vial/Rodolfo Cova Matias de Bourguignon, Equeco: Rodolfo Cova produced “I Will Mutate”

Charles Jones

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