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The Open Reel co-producing Ricky Mastro’s 7 Minutes

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- The French director’s debut film was presented as a work in progress at Sofia Meetings, while the sales agent’s doc Cinema Morocco has won at Guadalajara and inked a deal with Al Jazeera

The Open Reel co-producing Ricky Mastro’s 7 Minutes
Antoine Herbez stars in Ricky Mastro’s debut feature, 7 Minutes

After a fruitful Berlinale and European Film Market, Italian international sales agent The Open Reel is continuing its festival run with its newest additions, which include a co-production; in addition, the firm recently garnered an award at Guadalajara and signed an Al Jazeera deal, plus it has some Turkish premieres in store at Istanbul.

Starting with the recent 16th Sofia Meetings, which has just wrapped, the outfit represented French writer-director Ricky Mastro’s debut feature, 7 Minutes, which was screened as a work in progress (see the news). It stars Antoine Herbez as Jean, who discovers his son Maxime and his boyfriend hanged in a hotel room. According to the post-mortem, Maxime died from an overdose of GHB exactly seven minutes after his boyfriend. Jean will start to investigate further to find out more details, ending up in an infamous club where he will meet Fabien, who will become attached to him and change his life forever. Produced by Léon Diana and Ricky Mastro for their indie production house Poney Films, with The Open Reel’s Cosimo Santoro, the film is aiming for a release by next year.

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Given that the firm places particular emphasis on cinema from South America, it is hardly surprising that one of the latest acquisitions by The Open Reel is the third feature-length documentary by Brazilian director Ricardo Calil (A Night in 67), Cinema Morocco. The film, which world-premiered at DOK Leipzig last year, winning the Golden Dove Next Masters Award to boot (see the news), had its Central American premiere at the 34th Guadalajara International Film Festival, where it scooped the Best Ibero-American Documentary Award. Furthermore, the documentary has been sold to Qatari international broadcaster Al Jazeera for its English-language global channel.

The titular Cinema Morocco, which is in downtown São Paulo, used to be the most luxurious cinema in South America and, among other events, hosted the International Film Festival of Brazil in 1954, which invited along a handful of acclaimed Hollywood stars. Now, having been abandoned for many years, the cinema has become a shelter for homeless Brazilians, Latin American immigrants and African refugees, who also re-enact scenes from classic films that used to be screened at the venue some 60 years ago. At the same time, they are facing the threat of eviction.

Finally, the Berlinale Teddy Award winner Brief Story from the Green Planet [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Argentina’s Santiago Loza will enjoy its Turkish premiere at the 38th Istanbul International Film Festival, in the non-competitive Where Are You My Love? section, along with Enrique Castro Ríos’ debut, Decembers, which will participate in the festival’s Human Rights Competition.

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