'Bala Perdida' is latest venture

Peru’s Luis Llosa may have directed Sylvester Stallone and Jennifer Lopez in Hollywood action films, but he still stays close to home.

Llosa divides his time between Lima, where he runs Iguana Producciones; Miami, where he produces for Venevision Intl.; and Los Angeles, where he directs films such as “The Specialist” and “Anaconda”.

Iguana’s newest venture in Peru is “Bala Perdida” (The Lost Ball), a digital-video feature lensing in Cuzco, a tourist mecca in the country’s highlands.

Directed by frosh helmer Aldo Salvini for Iguana, “Lost Ball” is a boy-meets-girls story centered around a group of students who fall into the alternative nightlife scene of drugs and violence rather than Cuzco’s typical tourist traps.

Adapted from a novel by Raul Tola, pic stars Peruvian actors Aristoteles Picho and Monserrat Bruge, and is skedded for a midyear release.

Besides the storyline, which Llosa says is fascinating for the local market, he believes that digital video reps a new wave in Latin America.

“We have very small local markets, so digital video helps lower production costs,” Llosa says. “You only make money here on blockbusters, but you can’t build an industry only on big hits. Digital video will help our small markets become more productive.”

The average feature movie — on film — costs about $500,000 in Peru.

Iguana is prepping two more local features this year: “Muriendo por Muriel” (Dying for Muriel) and “Bano de Damas” (The Women’s Bath).

Llosa continues to work in television, producing an erotic novela for Playboy TV Intl. and working on a miniseries about Peru’s ongoing corruption scandal.

And Llosa himself may get behind the camera: He has purchased the rights to “La Fiesta del Chivo” (The Goat’s Party), the most recent novel by Mario Vargas Llosa, and has had preliminary talks with Paramount about the film adaptation.

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