Producer, Silvio Sardi, Max Pictures launch company

Producer Donald K. Ranvaud has teamed with longtime Italian producer-distributor Silvio Sardi Communications and London-based indie film company Max Pictures to launch the Miami-based production house Buena Onda Americas, for new Latin America talent.

Company is backed by an investment fund with a current $6.5 million in capital and an aggregate commitment of $47 million to Buena Onda Americas productions, Ranvaud said.

Buena Onda London will target the production of primarily English-language pics, sold through London-based sales agent Lumina.

“It will also be available for co-productions with Buena Onda Americas,” Ranvaud said.

Ranvaud’s relocation to Miami and the launch of Buena Onda Americas has been determined by the geographical focus of his recent productions.

The new company is developing a batch of bigger-budget English-language pics that could attract financing, to shoot in Miami. One, “Speed Kills,” could roll off the docupic “Thunderman: The Don Aronow Story,” about the inventor of Cigarette speed boats, narrated by Andy Garcia.

Buena Onda America’s core activity, however, reflects Ranvaud’s consuming passion over a career that saw him move to China in 1989 and produce Chen Kaige’s “Farewell My Concubine,” and later to Brazil to produce Walter Salles’ “Central Station”: the cultivation of new directorial talent.

The first slate of Buena Onda Americas features 10 first-time directors, mostly drawn from central America.

Advanced productions include “The King of Cha Cha Cha,” now in post, about a former Sandinista leader, helmed by Costa Rica’s Isabel Martinez and Brazil’s Vincente Ferraz; Guatemalan teen drama “Gasoline,” directed by Julio Hernandez Cordon, now shooting; “Who Killed the White Llama?” a social satire released to large success in Bolivia, from Rodrigo Bellott; and docu “Coca Lives,” co-directed by Bolivian newcomer Roberto Lanza.

Israel Cardenas and Laura Amelia Guzman have co-directed “Cochochi,” about Mexico’s Sierra Madre Tarahumara Indians, which was line-produced and serviced by Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna’s shingle Canana.

Co-financing for many projects is supplied by Central America pic fund Cinergia or the Puerto Rico Film Commission.

Buena Onda Americas and the Commission enjoy a joint venture for film development with a co-production option, executed on the Benicio del Toro exec-produced.

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