FiGa Films Snatches Agustin Banchero’s Debut Feature ‘Las Vacaciones de Hilda’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Anna Marie de la Fuente

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Leading Miami-based international sales and distribution company FiGa Films has picked up worldwide sales rights to Agustin Banchero’s drama, “Las Vacaciones de Hilda” (“Hilda’s Short Summer”).

“The film was part of this year’s San Sebastian Int’l Film Festival’s [work in progress section] Cine en Construcción and blew us away,” said FiGa Films’ Sandro Fiorin, adding: “It is the most mature first feature I’ve seen in years.”

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Produced by Virginia Bogliolo and Juan Alvarez Neme of auteur-driven Uruguayan shingle, Tarkiofilm, “Hilda” centers on the titular character whose self-imposed solitary life is upended when she hears that her son, whom she hasn’t seen in years, is coming to visit. The abrupt cancellation of his visit triggers memories of a past summer.

“Her memories of a particular summer spark an emotional pivot for the character,” said Banchero whose inspiration for his film primarily stemmed from his need to understand people close to him. Through its five years of development, it evolved into a nuanced exploration of memory, on understanding how the past affects the present. “It became more of a philosophical search,” he said. As it had to be shot in the winter and summer, he filmed it in two parts with a year’s break in between. “That break was fortuitous as it allowed me to reflect on what I had filmed and see it from a fresh perspective,” he mused.

Born in the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo 32 years ago, Banchero earned a filmmaking degree from the Film School of Uruguay after which he directed a series of short films, including “De Las Casas Blancas,” which screened at the LLAF in London and the World Cinema Fest in Amsterdam, among others. Other shorts followed, led by “Las Perdidas,” which played the Malba Festival in Buenos Aires.

Banchero is also a visual artist. His work has been recognized on several occasions, including the Grand Prix of the Visual Arts Salon in 2012.

Bogliolo, as well as Brazil’s Clarissa Guarilha and Clarissa Pileta Moraes, serve as executive producers.

Founded in 2006 by Fiorin and his late partner Alex Garcia, FiGa Films was initially launched to select the best of Latin America’s “new” cinema. It has since expanded to include projects from North America, Europe and Africa and has a library of nearly 100 titles.

FiGa Films is handling the sales of Costa Rica’s submission to the Best International Feature Oscar, Antonella Sudasassi’s “The Awakening of the Ants,” which has just been acquired by HBO in the U.S.

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