By Sydney Levine | Sydneys Buzz May 22, 2013 at 3:30PM
Launching earlier this year, Participant PanAmerica is an initiative to develop and finance 10-12 films over five years for and from Latin America with Mexico’s Canana (Sin Nombre, Miss Bala), Chile’s Fabula (Young and Wild, Gloria) and Colombia’s Dynamo (Undertow, The Hidden Face). Its first film, El Ardor starring Gael García Bernal and Alice Braga to shoot in Argentina.
Participant Media is reteaming with No star Gael García Bernal for the first film under their recently-launched Participant PanAmerica initiative, the Western-inspired action adventure El Ardor. Co-starring Alice Braga (Elysium, I Am Legend), El Ardor has begun filming in Argentina under the direction of Pablo Fendrik (Blood Appears, The Mugger), who wrote the screenplay.
García Bernal portrays a mysterious man who emerges from the Argentinean rainforest to rescue the kidnapped daughter (Braga) of a poor farmer after mercenaries murder her father and take over his property.
Juan Pablo Gugliotta and Nathalia Videla Peña and García Bernal serve as the film’s producers, with Participant’s Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King, Canana’s Pablo Cruz and Telefe`s Axel Kuschevatzky as executive producers.
An Argentinean/Brazilian/French co-production being financed through Participant PanAmerica, the film’s co-producers are Magma Cine (Argentina), Bananeira Filmes (Brazil) and Manny Films (France). Magma’s Argentinian partners are Aleph Media and Telefe International. BAC Films is handling international sales outside North American and Latin American territories.
Participant CEO Jim Berk said, “After our terrific experience on No, we’re excited to be reuniting with Gael and Canana for our first Participant PanAmerica film and to be expanding our footprint into this important segment of the global marketplace.”
Jonathan King, Participant EVP of Production said, “Pablo Fendrik and his partners at Magma Cine are exactly the kinds of ambitious young filmmakers we are hoping to work with through PanAmerica. And it's always great to be in business with our friends at Canana."
Added Magma Cine Partner Juan Pablo Gugliotta, “We are truly glad to be shooting this project which represents the emergence of our main talent, Pablo Fendrik, as well as his comeback to the big screen and we are also really grateful for the support of all our associates at local, regional and international level. Magma Cine is proud to be part of the first film by Participant PanAmerica. We are absolutely positive that El Ardor will be on par with the expectations of all those who have granted us their trust.”
Pablo Cruz, Partner at Canana said, "Pablo Fendrik is perhaps one of the most interesting directors out of his generation, we met him years ago when his film El Asaltante was playing at the Critics Week in Cannes, we immediately wanted to work with him. It’s been a fantastic process and I know Gael has had the necessary time to develop with him an unforgettable character. We can't wait to see this film on the screen."
About Magma Cine
Magma Cine was set up by Juan Pablo Gugliotta, Pablo Fendrik and Nathalia Videla Peña in 2006.
Magma Cine is a production company that has produced 9 films over the past 7 years including many of the award winning films of what can be labeled as the “New Argentine Cinema,” films that, thanks to their continuing participation in the international scene, keep growing in number and garnering recognition.
Recently they’ve released Mala, Israel Adrián Caetano’s latest feature film distributed commercially in Latin America by Buena Vista-The Walt Disney Company.
It has also produced several documentary miniseries for Argentine TV and the multi-awarded horror film The Second Death, which has been showcased in the top genre film festivals in the world.
Canana, founded in 2005 by Diego Luna, Gael Garcia Bernal, Pablo Cruz, and most recently joined by partner and CEO Julián Levin, is a pioneer of bringing Latin American talent to a global stage. Over the past 7 years, Canana has produced over twenty films including Abel, Luna's first feature length film, Sin Nombre, Miss Bala, directed by Gerardo Naranjo, and most recently, the English language film, Chavez, directed by Luna and based on the life of Mexican-American labor union organizer César E. Chávez. In 2012, Canana expanded its operations in the U.S. with Canana L.A., bridging the talent pool between Latin America and the U.S. with such projects as A Man Must Die, a political thriller produced in collaboration with Focus Features, with Naranjo set to direct. Canana’s television arm produced Soy Tu Fan, starring Ana Claudia Talancón, Niño Santo, which is production of its second season. The partners’ passion for film has also reflected through Documental Ambulante, a traveling documentary festival that has taken over 200 documentaries to communities across México, is in its 9th installment. Most recently, Canana has joined forces with IM Global to create a sales company focusing on the sales of Latin American films.