Chavarrias moves toward mainstream

Mexico’s Alebrije Prods. is teaming with Spain’s Oberon Cinematografica to produce “Dictado” (Dictation), written and helmed by Oberon owner Antonio Chavarrias.

Pancho Casal’s Madrid- and La Coruna-based Continental Prods. will also co-produce.

“Dictation” is a psychological chiller that turns on a couple who adopt a deceased friend’s young daughter, only for the husband to begin to see the girl as a threat.

“Films increasingly mix genres, but ‘Dictation,’ despite seemingly supernatural elements, will be highly realistic and character-driven: That’s my style and makes the film more disturbing,” Chavarrias told Daily Variety.

Juan Diego Botto will play the husband. Other key cast will soon be disclosed, Chavarrias said.

Budgeted at €3 million ($3.9 million), high midrange by Spanish standards, “Dictation” rolls Oct. 4. in Barcelona.

The pic has been pre-sold to Spanish pubcaster TVE and Catalan state TV station TV3.

Alebrije was launched in early 2009 by Monica Lozano, a former production exec at Mexican conglom Altavista, which co-produced five movies with Oberon: “Aro Tolbukhin in the Mind of a Killer,” “Nicotina,” Mexican blockbuster “Tear This Heart Out” and the Chavarrias-directed “You’ll Be Back” and “Celia’s Lives.”

Oberon has put up minority development and co-production coin on Alebrije’s upcoming “El Atentado,” one of the biggest-budgeted Mexican films in history.

Alebrije and Oberon are also co-producing Amir Galvan’s “La cuarta compania.”

Described by Lozano as a “loss of innocence tale,” historical drama “Compania” centers on a group of convicts at a Mexico City jail in the 1980s who formed the prison’s American football team “Los Perros Negros” (The Black Dogs). It also served as a criminal gang in the service of the capital’s notoriously corrupt

police chief Arturo “El Negro” Durazo Moreno.

A Mexican alliance “allows us to enroll outstanding Mexican talent in our films; it strengthens our movies’ finance; and it opens up markets for both sides,” said Chavarrias.

James Young in Mexico contributed to this report.

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