MTV Documentary Films has acquired worldwide rights to Sundance world-premiering love story The Eternal Memory, director Maite Alberdi’s follow-up to Oscar nominated doc The Mole Agent. The price is said to be approaching $3 million in a competitive situation with a number of bidders.
The film, which screened in the Sundance Film Festival World Documentary Competition section, will have its international premiere at the Berlinale next month in the Panorama Section and the company is planning a theatrical release and robust awards campaign later this year.
The Eternal Memory was produced by Maite Alberdi, Juan De Dios Larraín, Pablo Larraín and Rocío Jadue. Executive producers are Marcela Santibañez, Daniela Sandoval, Nicholas Hooper, Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements, Chandra Jessee and Rebecca Lichtenfeld.
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In the film, Augusto and Paulina have been together and in love for 25 years. Eight years ago, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and his wife has since become his caretaker. As one of Chile’s most prominent cultural commentators and television presenters, Augusto is no stranger to building an archive of memory, having been responsible for that herculean task following the Pinochet dictatorship and its systematic erasure of collective consciousness. Now he turns that work to his own life, trying to hold on to his identity with the help of his beloved wife. Day by day, the couple face this challenge head-on, adapting to the disruptions brought on by the taxing disease while relying on the tender affection and sense of humor shared between them that remains intact.
“I am so happy that The Eternal Memory has found its home at MTV Documentary Films, which in recent years, has believed in the artistic innovation of documentaries and has released documentaries that I greatly admire,” said Alberdi. “Working with Sheila Nevins is an honor, and I admire what she has built in the documentary industry.”
“The gift of love that lasts is revealed in The Eternal Memory. One cannot be cynical in Maite’s verité film – a remarkable achievement that allows us to observe what remains as memory fades. We reconsider the value of a long life lived and consider in our own lives the eternal reach of comfort and caring to an otherwise merciless end,” said Nevins, Executive Producer, MTV Documentary Films.
Nina Diaz and Liza Burnett Fefferman, Co-Head, MTV Documentary Films, called the doc “an extraordinary and sublime love story, we simply couldn’t take our eyes off the screen. The Eternal Memory left us so deeply moved and devoted to Augusto and Pauli – we can’t stop thinking, talking and marveling about the beautiful work Maite has done and how elated we are to bring this film out into the world.”
The film is a Micromundo and Fabula production. Submarine and United Talent Agency Independent Film Group brokered the deal with MTV Documentary Films on behalf of the filmmakers.
UTA also represents director/producer Alberdi, the first Chilean woman to be nominated at the Academy Awards, and an important voice in Latin American documentary. She premiered her last film The Mole Agent at Sundance 2020. It was the first Chilean documentary to be nominated for an Oscar.
In 2011, Alberdi released her first feature film, The Lifeguard. Through Micromundo, her production company, she directed her second film Tea Time, which won more than 12 international awards, and was nominated for the 2016 Goya for Best Ibero-American Film. In 2016, she released the short film I am not from here nominated for the European Films Award and also premiered her third feature The Grown-Ups that got 10 international awards.
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