Acuna to helm series plus movie spinoff

Chile’s Promocine is in talks with Argentina’s Pol-ka to co-produce “Besieged,” a TV series and movie spinoff that highlights raised fiction production ambitions in Latin America.

“Besieged,” written by Carmen Lopez and helmed by Promocine chief Nicolas Acuna, one of Chile’s leading TV directors, recreates the three-year siege from 1599 of a fort in Patagonia by Mapuche natives. Of the 600 besieged Spaniards, 22 survive.

Pubcaster Television Nacional de Chile (TVN) will co-produce and put up a third of the around $3 million below-the-line production costs for the 12-seg series and movie.

Speaking at Mexico’s Guadalajara fest, Acuna said that the budget makes “Besieged” one of Chile’s most costly free-to-air series ever. All 12 episodes have been written.

Acuna aims to bring in a third partner and shoot “Besieged” in the second half of this year.

Acuna drew international media coverage with last year’s TVN co-produced “Los Archivos del cardenal,” about lawyers investigating human rights violations under dictator Augusto Pinochet. He now plans a second season and a movie spinoff.

Synergies between the TV and movie sectors in Chile allow producers to tackle subjects inconceivable for most standalone films.

“Chile’s domestic market doesn’t allow for a self-sustaining film industry,” said Constanza Arena, exec director of promotion board Cinemachile. “So exports and link-ups with TV are ever more frequent and necessary,” she added, citing Andres Wood, Parox, Promocine and Fabula as companies bridging film and TV production.

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