Filmmaker Neto Villalobos sets aside the clichés and the idyllic image of Costa Rica. Instead he focuses on the working class and the idiosyncratic scenes of the country: chicken fast food stands, communal buses and precarious neighborhoods.
“All about the feathers” (Por las Plumas) tells the story of Chalo, a lonely security guard, bored with his day-to-day life, who wants to spice it up by getting into cockfighting. Chalo manages to acquire his own gamecock, Rocky, and gets into funny situations with his new and only friend.
To start and complete the production, Villalobos began a crowdfunding campaign on Indiego. The film was awarded the top prize of Cinergia, the Hivos-sponsored Central American and Cuban Film Fund, during their 10th Anniversary celebration. The director also participated in workshops and regional encounters held by the fund.
‘All about the feathers wouldn’t exist without the support of Cinergia. I don’t mean only the financial support but also the personal, motivational and existential support. The workshops they held, the gatherings they organize, and their staff, are all fundamental in the creation of a new Latin America film industry,’ wrote Villalobos in the Cinergia 10th Anniversary publication.
It was also supported by Ibermedia, Typa Screenwriting Workshop and was invited to the XL Rotterdam Lab in Holland.
This wry comedy is Villalobos’ first feature debut, coming from a region where ten years ago there was not a film industry. ‘Por las Plumas’ had its world premiere at the renowned Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September 2013.
“Overall, ‘Por las Plumas’ did very well. The audience enjoyed it and laughed a lot during the screenings. Discussions with the public were also fun, people were very interested in different aspects of the film, such as where it was made, how to work with non-actors and how I did some sequences,” the director told Cinergia.
During the TIFF, the film had its first international sale. HBO purchased the films rights for 2014. The comedy was presented at the Vancouver International Film Festival, and since October 3rd has been release in all cinemas in Costa Rica.