Film unit acquires North American rights to biopic

Participant Media has acquired all North American rights to “Chavez,” directed by Diego Luna and starring Michael Pena as labor organizer Cesar E. Chavez.

The screenplay by Keir Pearson (Hotel Rwanda) focuses on Chavez’s determination in organizing the largest non-violent protest in U.S. history to accomplish his goal of obtaining rights for over 50,000 farm workers in California.

The film reunites Participant with Mexico’s Canana Films following their Cannes Directors’ Fortnight launch for Pablo Larrain’s “No,” which won the Art Cinema Prize.

“Chavez” is being produced by Canana principals Pablo Cruz, Gael Garcia Bernal (who has a cameo role in the film) and Luna, along with John Malkovich (who stars as one of Chavez’s key adversaries), Lianne Halfon and Russell Smith of Mr. Mudd, Pearson and Larry Meli. Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King serve as exec producers.

Currently filming in Mexico, “Chavez” co-stars America Ferrera, Rosario Dawson, Wes Bentley, Michael Cudlitz, Gabriel Mann, Jacob Vargas, Yancey Arias and Mark Moses.

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