Thesp talks about Mexican boom, pix in the works

Taking a break from Berlinale jury duties, Mexican thesp Gael Garcia Bernal gave a talk at the Talent Campus on “Crossing Borders” Tuesday.

The packed event was moderated by Peter Cowie, who interviewed Garcia Bernal about his acting career, focusing on “Amores Perros” (Garcia Bernal: “The dogs were way better treated than the humans in that film.”), “The Motorcycle Diaries” and “Y Tu Mama Tambien.”

Much to the amusement of the smitten audience (which included Natalie Portman), Garcia Bernal said that the character he played in “Tambien” was the one he could relate to most.

About his home country and the kudos-boom that Mexican helmers — Alfonso Cuaron, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and Guillermo del Toro — are experiencing, Garcia Bernal said that those directors were extremely supportive of one another and that the Mexican film industry was “about to become self-sufficient.”

“But,” he added, “we still need a screen quota for Mexican films and Mexican producers should get the same tax benefits as foreign producers.”

Garcia Bernal has taken a producer role himself, having set up production outfit Canana with “Y Tu Mama Tambien” pal Diego Luna.

Although the Talent Campus audience was more interested in Garcia Bernal’s sensibilities and experiences as an actor, he did mention that the company has four pics in the pipeline.

They are his directorial debut, Spanish-language drama “Deficit”; Luna’s docu “Chavez,” about the Mexican boxer Julia Cesar Chavez; Gerardo Naranjo’s “Drama/Mex,” to be released in Mexico in March; and family pic “Cochochi,” to be helmed by Israel Cardenas and Laura Guzman.

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