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‘Karnawal’s’ Juan Pablo Félix Preps ‘Ofelia,’ From Bikini Films

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Buenos Aires-based Bikini Films, led by Edson Sidonie, has boarded “Ofelia,” the sophomore pic of Juan Pablo Felix whose acclaimed feature debut “Karnawal” won best direction at last year’s Guadalajara fest and best Ibero-American film at the Malaga Film Festival in June.

France’s Luz Verde has also come on board as a producer.

“Ofelia” has been selected to participate in Ibermedia’s Ibero-American Project Development Course currently taking place in Madrid. The political drama, set in 2009 Argentina during the tenure of controversial president Cristina Kirchner, exposes the hypocrisies of the Argentine bourgeoisie and the ideological rift in which the country found itself.

“‘Ofelia’ tells the story of an elderly lesbian woman in Argentina who still has not been able to face her sexuality with freedom because she lives in a bourgeois, conservative and patriarchal system, dominated by the men of the family,” said Felix.

“It’s a political film, narrated through the eyes of this woman in full maturity, and with which I try to make a work of observation of Argentine society and the ideological chasm in which all its citizens have been submerged,” he added.

Said Sidonie: “After the fabulous experience of producing ‘Karnawal,’ it is a great pleasure to accompany Juan Pablo once again with ‘Ofelia,’ a demanding and ambitious project at an aesthetic and narrative level, with a strong political charge and a direct resonance with current societal issues.”

“It is also a challenge at the production level, for which we are currently in the process of joining forces with European partners,” he

added.

“I was very excited about the project from the first reading of the script. Ofelia’s character is a type of woman that we don’t see very often in movies. A mature woman who experiences a poignant and bittersweet late-life flowering, through a secret gay love story set among the complacent wealthy gerontocracy of Buenos Aires,” observed Sidonie of the film which turns on the conflict between the big landowners, of which Ofelia is part, and the Kirchner government.

“’Ofelia’ is a perceptive study of class, sexuality and personal awakening that elegantly balances character study with shrewd commentary on class, desire, and the lingering privileges of the Buenos Aires elite,” he continued.

“This political crisis has been a defining moment in Argentine recent history, because it was the starting point of the ideological and political polarization in Argentina, whose consequences we are still living today,” he pointed out.

On the surface, “Ofelia” seems like a departure from Felix’s feature debut “Karnawal,” a coming-of-age thriller that revolves around the malambo dance culture on the Argentine-Peru border.

Bikini films is also finalizing the feature film “The Once and Future” by Singaporean director Siew Hua Yeo, a Golden Leopard Winner at the 2018 Locarno Festival with “A Land Imagined.” The film has been shot and post-produced in Argentina, and is co-produced by Roger Garcia’s General Films and Bikini Films. It is set to hit the festival circuit next year.

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