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Gael Garcia Bernal, Alice Braga board ‘The Ardor’

Pablo Fendrik directs Spanish-language revenge pic

Gael Garcia Bernal and Alice Braga are set for “The Ardor,” a modern tale of survival and revenge which marks Argentinean Pablo Fendrik’s follow-up to Cannes Critics’ Week hit “Blood Appears.”

Bac Films Distribution will handle French distribution; Bac Films Intl. has taken international rights.

One of the most ambitious movies now coming out of Latin America, Fendrik’s third film marks a step up in scale and play for larger audiences after “Blood.”

“We want to follow directors in arthouse films that have potential crossover success,” said Gilles Sousa, who heads Bac Films Intl. along with Mathieu Robinet.

Garcia-Bernal plays a lone Amazon shaman who comes across a humble tobacco farmer, and his beautiful daughter. When a band of deforesters attack the tobacco farm, the daughter is kidnapped and forced to watch her father being brutally killed.

Shooting in the Amazon in March, “Ardor” will be ready for a fall festival run.

Describing “Ardor” as a personal but action-packed Western, Fendrik said the tale of unfolding revenge also tells “the struggle between man and nature, in a dazzling environment increasingly destroyed by deforestation.”

“Ardor” is lead-produced by Nathalia Videla Pena and Juan-Pablo Gugliotta at Buenos Aires’ Magma Cine, one of Latin America’s fastest-rising production houses whose current slate includes Israel Adrian Caetano’s “Mala” and Victoria Galardi’s “I Thought It Was a Party.”

Mexico’s Canana, Garcia-Bernal’s production label, co-produces with Brazil’s Bananeira Filmes, producer of Oscar entry “The Clown,” Italy’s Alba Produzioni and France’s Manny Films.

Bac Films Intl.’s slate already features Mexican Michel Franco’s Cannes 2012 Un Certain Regard winner “After Lucia,” and “The Deep,” from Iceland’s Baltasar Kormakur.

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