XYZ has first option on international rights

GUADALAJARA

Damian Alcazar (“The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian”) is in negotiations to topline Jorge Michel Grau’s soph pic “Keep Quiet,” the Mexican helmer’s follow-up to his debut “We Are What We Are.”

Jim Mickle’s remake of “We Are” was picked up for U.S. release by eOne Distribution after its Sundance premiere.

Mayra Espinosa Castro at Mexico City-based Velarium Arts produces “Keep Quiet.” Todd Brown of L.A.-based XYZ Films is co-developing with a view to co-producing. XYZ Films also has a first option on international rights.

“Keep Quiet” is being pitched at the Guadalajara Festival’s 9th Ibero-American Film Co-production Meeting, which kicked off Sunday.

Three years after “We Are What We Are,” about a cannibalistic family with problems when its main human-flesh supplier dies, “Keep Quiet,” which Grau also wrote, continues his social-issue genre films that take an original angle on violence in Mexico.

Alcazar will play a man who moves his 14-year-old to a new home after he witnesses his mother’s rape and murder. But the run-down housing complex feeds the son’s violent schizophrenia until he thinks his father is a werewolf, whom he’ll have to kill.

Until a new generation of Latin American helmers burst onto the scene last decade, most of the region’s international films were arthouse fare dramatizing the sufferings and iniquities of its poor.

“Keep Quiet” mixes a social conscience and, via its genre elements, far larger market appeal.

“The important thing about ‘Keep Quiet’ is its social context, the moment, its immediacy. Family disintegration through violence has never been as common as it is today,” Grau said.

Aim is to shoot the second half of 2013 in Celaya, Guanajuato. Mexico’s Mr Woo is collaborating in development. Velarium is seeking a Colombian co-production, given a key Latino femme character.

Wild Bunch sold “We Are What We Are” to more than 60 countries, making it one of Latin America’s best-selling titles in recent years.

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