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'Otto – My Life Is A Soundtrack' wins US in Progress in Paris

Prize is worth $45,000 (€40,000) in post-production services and distribution support.

Colombian, New York-based director Margarita Jimeno’s hybrid fiction feature Otto – My Life is a Soundtrack, about a renowned artist who undergoes a spiritual awakening after a failed show, has won the fifth edition of US in Progress in Paris.

The prize includes a post-production and distribution package worth $45,000 (€40,000).

The US in Progress event showcased six independent US works looking for final post-production services and a sales agent.

It took place June 7-10 as part of the Industry Days programme of the French-US focused Champs-Elysées Film Festival, running June 7-14 and hosted by French distributor Sophie Dulac.

Otto – My Life is a Soundtrack stars real-life actor and entrepreneur Jens Louis Valeur as international artist Peter Bjorn who decides to disappear from public life after a highly anticipated show is panned, finding refuge in playing pipe organ music in a remote Polish village where he meets a nun with a beautiful voice and love of hiking. 

When media reports start to circulate that he is dead, Bjorn leaves his newfound refuge to return to his old life.

It is Jimeno’s first feature-length fiction feature after the rockumentary Gogol Bordello Non-Stop, about Gogol Bordello, the New York band fusing gypsy music with punk rock.

New York producer Andrew D. Corkin at Uncorked Productions is producing with Sol Bondy of Berlin-based One Two Film on board as a consultant producer.

Corkin was also in Paris with Joel Potrykus’s upcoming The Alchemist Cookbook, about a young hermit hiding out in the forest, which screened in the Champs-Elysées Film Festival’s competition aimed at US independent features films alongside titles such Chad Hartigan’s Morris From America and Elizabeth Wood’s White Girl

The other films in US in Progress comprised Mike Ott’s California Dreams, revolving around small-town dreams of Hollywood fame; Adam Keleman’s Easy Living, about a self-destructive make-up saleswoman who takes drastic action when a new love affair and business venture fails and Andrea Sisson and Pete Ohs’s science-fiction fantasy Everything Beautiful is Far Away.

There were also special screenings of two documentaries: the American soccer career-themed Academy by Brent Chesanek and Matt Yoka’s Whirlybird about 1990s, Los Angeles aerial reporting pioneer Bob Tur.

US in Progress is a joint initiative between the American Film Festival in Wroclaw, the Champs-Élysées Film Festival in Paris and Black Rabbit Film.

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