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Michel Franco’s ‘Dreams’ to be Distributed by The Match Factory

International rights to “Dreams,” the next film from Mexican filmmaker Michel Franco, whose “Memory” competed at Venice last year, will be sold by his regular partner The Match Factory.

“I usually work with The Match Factory, and we have an ongoing collaboration,” he tells Variety at Karlovy Vary Film Festival. “So, yeah, I like to stick with people [I know]. Why change when things are working out? It’s a great company. And I have certain distributors in certain countries that keep buying my films. And that’s, I think, how you build audiences.”

He says that he is still editing the film, so it may not be ready for Venice. “I don’t think it would be ready. I wouldn’t want to rush it. And I’m here [in Karlovy Vary]. I’m not obsessed with rushing [to finish films].”

“Dreams” will star Jessica Chastain, who also headlined “Memory,” as well as Rupert Friend and Isaac Hernández. The film, which shot in San Francisco and Mexico City last year, centers on a wealthy socialite, played by Chastain, who has a romance with a Mexican ballet dancer, played by Hernández.

It has been speculated that, on a broader level, the film also touches on the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico, but Franco is reluctant to say that. “No, I wouldn’t explain [it like that], not even after the film comes out, because I think that’s up to audiences to figure out. All I can tell you is that, as I often do, I tried to not make it too simple.” However, he does confirm that this relationship between the two countries is one aspect to the film. “Well, yeah. I shot the film in San Francisco and Mexico City, in both places, so, yeah, it does involve the two countries and how we relate to each other.”

Memory
“Memory”
Courtesy of Ketchup Entertainment/Everett Collection

Franco says that the film flowed naturally from his collaboration with Chastain on “Memory.” “‘Dreams’ started – I don’t want to talk too much about the movie because I’m still fully figuring out what it is – when I talked about it with Jessica on a lunch break [on the set of ‘Memory’]. I told her I’m not pitching you something, I’m just telling you that I’ve been thinking a lot about these things that I’ve had for years in my mind. And she said: ‘Let’s do it.’ So, it’s fair to say that ‘Dreams’ came out of that good collaboration and momentum that we were having. And we were both clever enough to say, ‘Let’s keep at it,’ because it’s hard to find this good vibe and to understand each other so well.”

Franco says that it’s likely he’ll make a third film with Chastain. “We’re pretty sure we will. A third and a fourth,” he says, adding he will also likely shoot more films with Tim Roth, who starred in the director’s “Chronic” and “Sundown.”

Franco emphasizes that a lot could change during the editing of “Dreams,” including the title. “That’s why I’m always the producer of my movies. Because if tomorrow I wake up and I want to change everything around [then I can]. I was talking to Steven Soderbergh [also a guest at Karlovy Vary] about how he changed his Kafka movie around, and he was telling me at the time, he would never have had the freedom to do this. And now he produces his stuff, and he has all the freedom in the world. I relate a lot to that. It’s hard, because a movie can cost a few million bucks, so to make a personal expression out of something that’s so expensive, and involves so many people, that’s the challenge.”

Franco knows that he is fortunate to be in a position where, as both director and producer of his films, he can dictate the pace of production, and work with those he wants to work with. “I’m open to collaborating with anyone as long as … It’s a dictatorship, you know, it’s not a democracy. There is no other way to [do it]. Just as a painter is dictating what he paints and a writer what he writes. That doesn’t mean you don’t collaborate. Using music as an example: You have a producer, and a record can be massively affected by who’s producing it. But still, the musician is calling the shots.”

He says he doesn’t have “final cut” in his contract as there is no contract, given he is the producer. And although Chastain’s Freckle Films is a co-producer, she respects him enough to let him do what he needs to do. “I mean it’s clear that it’s my movie as it’s clear that she’s the actor. And, you know, we never have to talk about that,” he says.