Burman, Barbosa Prep ‘Love.com’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Argentine director drives into new media; BD Cine, Total continue alliance

RIO DE JANEIRO –- Consolidating an ongoing alliance, Daniel Burman and Diego Dubcovsky’s Buenos Aires-based BD Cine is linking with Walkiria Barbosa’s Total Filmes in Rio to produce “Love.com,” a romantic comedy movie set in a new-media age.

“Love.com” encapsulates two key creative parameters for Burman, one of Argentina’s best-known directors: new media and linkups with Brazil.

Leandro Matos and Saulo Aride, the writer of the soon-to-air-in-Brazil “If I Were You” TV series, produced by Total Filmes for Fox Channels Latin America, have written a first draft screenplay about a challenged love affair between a celebrity social trend blogger and her equally famous technology twitter b.f.

Burman is now coming on board to adapt the screenplay for the bigscreen. BD Cine and Total are now studying in what language they could shoot “Love.com”: Spanish, English or Portuguese.

“I’m very excited by this project given my interest in how social networks, our virtual life, affects our analogical life,” Burman told Variety on Monday at the RioMarket, where he will direct a workshop on writing for the cinema.

The director of 2004’s “Lost Embrace,” which won the Grand Jury Prize and actor nod (Daniel Hendler) at Berlin, Burman’s involvement in “Love.com” comes as BD Cine, Globant, an Argentine software solutions company, and consultant Laura Muchnik have invested in I Am At.

A startup created a year ago by Alfonso Amat, I Am At develops “second screen” projects — where tablets or smartphone content enhances the “first-screen” movie theater or TV audience experience. Burman is currently developing various second-screen products, he said.

Whether “Love.com” will be Burman’s next movie is another matter.

Disney will release in January Burman’s latest, BD Cine’s first co-production with Total: later-life romantic comedy “The Mystery of Happiness,” starring Guillermo Francella, the principled if barfly colleague to Darin’s court clerk in “The Secret in Their Eyes,” and star of sleeper “Corazon de Leon,” which grossed a first-six-week $9.5 million for Disney from an Aug. 15 bow.

“Happiness” centers on two business partners who swear nothing, not even love, will come between them. Thirty years later, one disappears; the other, looking for him, falls deeply for his wife.

“We hope to close an international distribution deal at Ventana Sur,” said Burman.

Also in development, “The King of Once” will shoot partly in Brazil, co-produced by Total, Burman said.

A very loose follow-up to “Lost Embrace,” “King” shares the setting of Buenos Aires’ Jewish district, is again a father-son dramedy, but turns on different characters, here a father who runs the community’s charity foundation but seems unable to aid his own estranged son.

Per Burman: “The project talks about how to forgive our parents and whether it’s right to help whom we want, rather than whom we ought to aid.”

“Love.com” marks the second high-profile international pact for Total after it inked with “Instructions Not Included” producer Monica Lozano at Mexico’s Alebrije Films on a Mexican redo of Total’s smash hit “If I Were You.”

“We want to make films together in and an outside Latin America in Portuguese in Brazil and in Spanish for the rest of Latin America,” Barbosa said at RioMarket, which she directs.

That applies to both her partnerships, with Burman and Lozano, which opens up the intriguing possibility of three of Latin America’s most audience-conscious producers in its three major territories collaborating on trilateral co-production.

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