Political thriller follows helmer's 'Student'

GIJON, Spain — Argentina’s Santiago Mitre is preparing his second directorial outing, political thriller “La llanura” (The Plain).

An intense political thriller set against Argentine college politics, Mitre’s “The Student” played Locarno, winning the Special Jury Prize, then Toronto and New York, establishing him from the get-go as a new talent to track.

Mitre also co-wrote Pablo Trapero’s “Lion’s Den” and “Carancho” with Trapero and Alejandro Fadel. He is penning a 40-page treatment for “The Plain” with “The Student” co-scribe Mariano Llinas.

“The Student” delivers an incisive insider’s take on Peronist political skulduggery, “The Plain,” a two-part movie, “comes at politics from a very different angle,” Mitre said at Spain’s Gijon fest where “The Student” was building buzz before its Tuesday Competition screening.

“Plain’s” first part tracks a young woman journalist who hits the southern campaign trail of a politician tipped to become Argentina’s next vice-president.

Set 10 years earlier, it then charts the relationship between the politician and another former militant of one of Argentina’s ’70s anti-Junta revolutionary groups. Together they organized a jail-break from a clandestine detention center, which left many companeros dead.

“The candidate is regarded as a hero, the other man isn’t,” said Mitre. ” ‘The Plain’ talks about history and politics’ need to construct and re-construct history, creating characters, myths.”

“Plain” will share “The Student’s” strong sense of place and mix of narrative thrust and near docu-style to cover the campaign scenes, Mitre said.

Union aims to structure “The Plain” — whose title refers to a familiar aspect of Argentina’s sprawling Pampa — as an international co-production.

Mitre’s next is set up at Mitre’s Buenos Aires-based La Union de los Rios, run with Agustina Llambi Campbell.

Union is also finalizing post-production on Fadel’s directorial deb, the Hubert Bals Fund-backed “Los salvajes.”

Also written by Fadel, it follows a bunch of adolescents who escape from a reformatory and try to cross the Argentina’s Cordoba Sierra. The Sierra is beautiful; but the kids are violent. Each of “Los salvajes'” four parts focuses on a character.

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