Berlinale-Bound Colombian Doc ‘Transfariana’ Acquired By MPM Premium

Paris-based MPM Premium has snagged the international sales rights to French-Colombian documentary “Transfariana” ahead of its world premiere in the Berlinale’s Panorama section.

The documentary, by French director-cinematographer Joris Lachaise, explores the unusual collaboration between the since-disbanded Colombian guerrilla group FARC and the trans activist movement in Colombia that led to changes in local laws.

A TV version running 1.5 hours was acquired by European culture TV channel, Arte.

In a trailer bowing exclusively in Variety, it opens with Jaison Murillo introducing himself as a political prisoner and FARC guerrilla member. He relates how Trans Laura was transferred to his prison compound where they met and formed a relationship. He’s expelled by his group but it fires him up even more to fight for change. With the historic peace pact between the government and FARC paving the way for change, both marginalized communities find common ground in their struggle for their rights. “We’re fighters and agents of social transformation. We’re people who defend the utopias we believe in,” says Murillo.

“It’s a strong and impactful documentary which recounts the key victories that led to the Trans collective being accepted by the FARC and obtaining reparation from the Colombian state, known to be highly conservative,” said MPM Premium’s Quentin Worthington. 

“We immediately fell for this unusual romance between a FARC soldier and a former trans sex worker,” he remarked, adding: “In addition, the modern and progressive approach towards Colombian politics convinced us right away that the film had something new to say about the new forces at play in Latin America.”

“Our company is passionate about Latin American films and documentaries,” said Worthington, adding that a notable recent pickup was Paraguay’s “Eami” by Paz Encina, which won the IFFR Tiger Award in 2022.

MPM Premium used 2020’s Ventana Sur market to unveil “The Pink Cloud,” from Brazil’s Iuli Gerbase, which went on to become a hit at the Sundance Festival.

Other past acquisitions include Brazilian films “Fogareu” by Flavia Neves,” “Shine your Eyes” by Matias Mariani (which was sold to Netflix), Argentine thrillers “The Silent Party” by Diego Fried and “The Fall of the Queens” by Lucas Turturro, and Chile’s “El Hombre del Futuro” by Felipe Ríos.

“We are particularly interested in highlighting potent stories from the Latin American continent, whose young talented directors can find a home with their first features under our ‘New Visions’ Label,” Worthington noted.

The 73rd Berlin Film Festival runs Feb. 16-26.

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