EXCLUSIVE: Colombian William Vega’s La Sirga won the Cinema in Construction prize at Toulouse’s Cinelatino festival just prior to its Directors Fortnight selection.

Paris-based MPM Film and freelance sales executive Pierre Menahem are joining forces once again to sell Colombian director William Vega’s debut feature La Sirga, which is due to premiere in Directors Fortnight in Cannes.

Set against the backdrop of rural Colombia, La Sirga revolves around 19-year-old Alicia, who flees a massacre in her village and seeks shelter in her uncle’s rickety guesthouse on the shores of a lake in the High Andes.

Alicia tries to rebuild her life and nearly succeeds until the conflict she tried to escape arrives in her lakeside retreat too.

La Sirga is a haunting drama and a subtle metaphor for the country’s violence, which is felt and heard but never seen on screen,” says Menahem. “William Vega explores his country’s traumas through a very enigmatic rural tale rather than an urban drama.” 

The picture is already creating a good deal of buzz having won the Cinema in Construction Prize, aimed at financing post-production, at Toulouse’s Cinelatino festival last April as well as the Cine+ Special Prize. 

Filmmaker and producer Oscar Ruiz Navia of Contravia Films produced La Sirga, alongside co-producers Burning Blue (Colombia), Cine Sud Promotion (France), Film Tank (Mexico) and Puntoguionpunto (Mexico). 

Menahem first started collaborating with Former Directors’ Fortnight chief Marie-Pierre Macia and Juliette Lepoutre of Paris-based MPM and Menahem last September on the sales of Brazilian director Julia Murat’s Historias.

“After last year’s success with Julia Murat’s Historias, which we co-produced and sold to more than 10 territories, we are thrilled to head to Cannes with a new and very promising director from Colombia,” Menahem said.

Deals for Historias — the tale of an aging community in a once flourishing but now decaying plantation town — included to Film Movement for North American, Bodega for France and Eye Film Institute for the Netherlands.