Thesp to direct, produce, star pic

Mexican thesp Gael Garcia Bernal is directing his first feature via his new production company Canana, founded with Diego Luna and Pablo Cruz.

The yet-to-be-named pic will highlight Mexico’s divide between rich and poor at a house party of jet-set kids in Tepoztlan, an Indian village-turned-tourist trap and weekend getaway for Mexico City’s elite.

Cast includes Garcia Bernal and telenovela starlet Camilla Sodi. Scripted by Mexican tyro Kyzza Terrazas, film will be lensed by Eugenio Polgovsky, helmer of doc “Tropico de Cancer.” Cruz is producing.

In pre-production, film will start shooting within two months.

Cruz said pic will have a “humble” budget. “We want to make our own little film, for Gael to feel free, without having the studio burden on top,” Cruz added.

Helming “has been an organic decision. I don’t see it as a career yet,” Garcia Bernal said. Canana is keeping its distribution options open and may distrib the film in Mexico itself. It already has some experience in this area with its touring festival of documentaries.

Pic is a spinoff from TV series “Ruta 32″ that the shingle is developing. “Ruta 32″ will comprise five one-hour stories by different helmers set in cities around Mexico. Garcia Bernal’s film will be cut to fit the “Ruta 32″ format.

Given Garcia Bernal’s complicated sked, company decided to shoot the pic now, while talks continue to sell the series.

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