A look at multi-hyphenates in the spotlight

Miguel Cohan
Helmer/scribe, Argentina
Marcelo Pineyro’s former A.D., Cohan wrote “Sin retorno” with his sister. It’s from the same producers as “The Secret in Their Eyes,” Haddock and Tornasol, and is again “a drama-thriller,” in Cohan’s words. The Leonard Sbaraglia starrer, about the aftermath of an automobile accident, fuses moral complexity and minor-key noir into a compelling whole, proving a highly popular Golden Spike winner at Spain’s Valladolid fest. Pic went on to good reviews and hot Argentine B.O. for the debut director, putting his career on a faster track. Cohan and sister Ana Cohan are now writing a second pic.

Paula Cosenza
Producer, Brazil
Cosenza, BossaNovaFilmes’ head of development and exec producer, joined the Brazil-based company in 2006 following eight years in the U.K., where she went to film school and worked in the biz. Under company partner Denise Gomes, Cosenza’s mission was to turn BossaNova, a commercials producer, into a pic and TV-series maker.
BossaNova will screen Georgia Guerra Peixe’s doc “O samba que mora em mim” and present two pics in post at Ventana Sur: Marcelo Machado’s doc “Tropicalia,” which is being co-produced by Revolution Films, and Ugo Georgetti’s feature “Corda Bamba.” It’s also got one project, Luiz Villaca’s “Spring,” a Spanish-language adaptation of Mario Benedetti’s novel at the mart.

Gregorio Gonzalez
Producer, Chile
Gonzalez’ shingle Forastero debuted in 2009 with Sebastian Silva’s “La Nana,” which snagged Sundance’s World Cinema Grand Jury prize and a Golden Globe nom. Gonzalez has channeled honor studies in mathematical engineering and finance into filmmaking. He’s taking sci-fi drama “Circuito de Roman,” now in post, to Ventana Sur, and seeking co-producers for Dominga Sotomayor’s debut “De Jueves a Domingo” and Sebastian Lelio’s “Pardon, Mama.” He’s also launching film production services for Hollywood and Bollywood shoots in Chile.

Hilda Hidalgo
Helmer/scribe, Costa Rica
A graduate of Cuba’s prestigious Havana Intl. School of Film & TV, Hidalgo’s debut, “Of Love and Other Demons,” reps Costa Rica at the Oscars. Hidalgo landed coveted rights to Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novel at a scriptwriting workshop he taught at the school. When she questioned him why it had never been adapted, given its cinematic qualities, he stunned her by offering her the rights on the spot. She’s now writing drama “Estacion violenta.”

Augusto Mendoza
Scribe, Mexico
Mendoza broke into TV writing for Televisa thesp Eugenio Derbez for several programs, before co-writing Diego Luna’s directorial debut “Abel,” which gave Canana Films its first commercial hit for an in-house production since it founded in 2006. Also penned pending project “Chicuarotes” for Canana and is co-writing Luna’s next directorial project. “In two years, he’s going to have directors waiting in line to write with him,” Luna says.

Jaime Osorio
Helmer/scribe, Colombia
Wild Bunch is pre-selling TV commercials helmer Osorio’s feature debut “The Squad,” an unusual move suggesting a lot of confidence in the movie. Osorio, who studied filmmaking in France, shot this hybrid war/horror pic with unknown actors who improvised their dialogue and were given the script only after the shoot. “I learned more from observing him than from any other films I’ve produced,” says producer Federico Duran of Rhayuela Films. Next: the re-telling of a children’s story with a brutal twist.

Marcel Rasquin
Helmer/scribe, Venezuela
Rasquin’s debut “Hermano” (Brother) has collected a raft of fest awards, starting in Moscow with best film, plus critics and audience kudos. Soccer drama has been a box office hit back home. Rasquin studied film in Oz where he co-wrote “Hermano” with Aussie pal Rohan Jones. Pic reps Venezuela in the foreign-language Oscar race. He’s now co-writing a screenplay on the theme of jealousy, which he hopes to shoot in Mexico.

Mariana Secco
Producer/distributor, Uruguay
As board prexy of Uruguay’s producers org Asoprod, board member of its film commission and rep to the Iberoamerican Producers Federation, Secco is a key go-to person in Uruguayan cinema. She’s also got a variety of projects brewing, among them police drama “Reus,” the directorial debut of Alejandro Pi that’s now in post, and TV docu “Sikorsky S58,” both of which she’ll be taking to Ventana Sur. Projects in development include newbie Manuel Facal’s comedy “Relocos” and Carlos Ameglio’s comedy “Pornostein.” Secco produced Ameglio’s 2008 dark comedy “La Cascara.”

Federico Veiroj
Helmer/scribe, Uruguay
Drawing inspiration from his work at cinematheques in Montevideo and Madrid, Veiroj’s black-and-white drama “La vida util” (A Useful Life) is a wry treatise on film as well as life. Uruguay’s foreign-language Oscar contender, “Life” preemed in Toronto. Veiroj first nabbed attention with debut “Acne,” a droll coming-of-age dramedy that preemed at Cannes Directors’ Fortnight in 2008. He’s now working on a script that he says defies description.

ALSO IN THIS FEATURE:
Window on growth | Doc event draws Euros, Latin Americans together | Growth market | Up next | Screening guide

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