Villegas, Suarez espouse advantages of regional co-production at Mar del Plata
In a groundbreaking move, Buenos Aires’ Tresmilmundos Cine, headed by director-producers Juan Villegas and Celina Murga, is linking to Paola Suarez’s Germina Films in Cordoba to produce Julian Giullanelli’s Cordoba Sierra-set “El otro verano.”
Unveiled at the Mar del Plata Festival, Giullanelli’s second feature marks a pioneering co-production between a prestigious Buenos Aires production house, which lead produced the Murga-directed Berlin Competition player “The Third Side of the River,” exec produced by Martin Scorsese, and one of the most active international producers based out of Cordoba, site of Argentina’s biggest regional film hubs.
Cordoba’s rise as a film power is recent. Playing the Berlinale’s Generation section, Germina’s second feature, “Atlantida,” from Ines Maria Barrionuevo, is one of the most prominent Cordoba-produced features to date.
Giullanelli always aimed to shoot “El otro verano” in the province of Cordoba. So co-production is natural, Villegas said at the Mar del Plata Festival, where he and Suarez announced the co-production.
But as companies in Argentina, as in many parts of the world, seek to ramp up the size of their films, the number of
domestic co-productions, especially framed within a regional alliances, are likely to grow. Their advantages are legion, as Villegas and Suarez explained.
Following on Giullanelli’s 2009 “Puentes,” a Busan Fest selected young teen drama supported by the Hubert Bals Fund, “Verano” returns to “Puentes’” theme of characters’ seeking affective bonds outside their biological families.
In “Verano,” “a classic story with recognizable conflicts,” said Villegas, Rodrigo, age 42, lives lonesomely in the Cordoba Sierra, renting out tourist cabins for the summer. He takes on Juan, 16, who lives with his grandmother, and soon they strike up a friendship, a neo father-son relationship, which both need.
“For Buenos Aires, Cordoba Sierra is not only a tourist destination but represents the idea of nature, star-lit skies,” an apter place for relationships to develop naturally, Villegas argued.
“From Cordoba, we’d like to co-produce not only internationally but also strengthen relationships with other production houses in Argentina. Working together, we can increase the potential of the film,” Suarez added.
Together, the production houses can access both regional and federal funding.
Tapping into Germina’s knowledge base – whether locations, local equipment hire, extras, and so on – they may simply end up make a better film, both producers argued.
Cordoba is already studying a new film/TV law.
“Working with larger, more experienced producers is a way to grow at regional national and international levels, legitimizing Cordoba’s aim of taking its production to the next level.”
Given all this, the number of Buenos Aires-Cordoba link-ups looks almost certain to grow.