More announcements out of Locarno: Susanna della Sala’s “Last Stop Before Chocolate Mountain,” which is due to have its premiere at the fest August 9 as part of the Critics Week section, has been acquired by sales agency Taskovski Films. Variety broke the news.
“In the midst of the harsh Californian desert and on the shores of a toxic lake lies a land that time forgot,” details the film’s synopsis on the fest website. “This once abandoned town is now home to a small community where art heals people in the most unexpected ways. A British matriarch, a retired bank robber, an evicted artist from LA, and an Italian prince open the doors to a magical land, a living theater, perhaps a way to an alternative life.”
Of the impetus behind the film, della Sala explained, “The documentary was born from a personal life experience and its creative process was four years in the making. ‘Last Stop Before Chocolate Mountain’ to me represents a universal and metaphorical land where we confront ourselves, awakening our creative impulses, in the mirage of individual liberation. The film embodies the collective longing, both desperate and joyful, for acceptance and a sense of belonging.”
The film’s producer, Marco Visalberghi, added, “When in 2019, back from her last long stay in Bombay Beach, Susanna della Sala came to us with her magical footage I realized how much that unique community had captured her imagination. Personally, I have always been fascinated by life stories from the edge of the world, be it the ‘Sacred’ Gra of Rome or the desert of California. That is why I decided to bet on this young and original director.”
DocLab’s Sherin Salvetti also produced the pic.
Della Sala has art department credits on “Wonder Woman” and TV’s “Medici” and also wrote and directed short films “The Fish Doctor” and “Wasteplanet,” and co-directed narrative feature comedy “Neolovismo.”
Other recent sales acquisitions ahead of Locarno premieres include Veronika Lišková’s doc “The Visitors” — also picked up by Taskovski — and Tereza Nvotovà’s “Nightsiren,” which was snapped up by Intramovies.