10 Producers to Watch
Mary Burke | Canning & Sherman | Roman Coppola | Gilbert & Horowitz | Mario Gianani | Darlene Caamano Loquet | Felts & Berfield | Rob Paris | Quad | David Guy Levy
Despite the company’s Latino roots (chairman/CEO Emilio Diez Barroso is the cousin of Emilio Azcarraga Jean, head of Mexican media juggernaut Televisa), the seven-year-old shingle has just wrapped its first Spanish-language pic, “Casa de Mi Padre,” starring Mexican heartthrobs Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna, along with Will Ferrell. As in most of its pics, Nala produced and fully financed the comedy.
“We never made it our goal to make strictly Latino-themed films,” Loquet says. “Instead we’ve aimed for positive stories, regardless of genre.”
Shingle has the capacity to back pics with budgets up to $40 million, although its current slate has budgets below $10 million.
“We benefit from Emilio’s access to financing and his passion for film,” Loquet says.
“Darlene is a testament to the often forgotten idea that you can succeed in this industry while being a wonderful caring human being, ” says Diez Barroso.
Nala recently produced “Ceremony,” starring Uma Thurman, and supernatural thriller “Shelter,” toplined by Julianne Moore and Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Both pics are slated for release next year by Magnolia and the Weinstein Co., respectively.
Caamano Loquet’s film career began at Trimark Pictures, where she developed “Frida” and “Eve’s Bayou.” She was VP of production at Dreamworks-based Patchwork Prods., where she helped develop “Shrek” and “Chicken Run” — an experience that will indeed come in handy when Nala produces its first animated pic, “Cadabra.”
Provenance: Los Angeles
Inspired by: Her Cuban father Daniel Caamano, who remained positive even after his family lost everything when Fidel Castro came into power in Cuba.