RIO DE JANEIRO – John Penotti’s Ivanhoe Pictures is teaming with Anna Kokourina Tabula Rasa Films, Colombia’s Dynamo, Germany’s Lago Films and Urca Filmes in Brazil to produce an English-language remake of Andres Baiz’s 2011 hit, psychological thriller “La cara oculta” (The Hidden Face).
The redo project, whose exact structure is still under negotiations, marks an early move by Kokourina after she ankled Fox Int’l. Productions in August to hang her own shingle, the L.A.-based Tabula Rasa Films.
Written by Baiz and Hatem Khraiche, a Variety 10 To Track talent in Spain, and produced by Dynamo’s Cristian Conti, also a producer on the remake, the original “The Hidden Face” (aka “Bunker”) boasts several elements inviting a remake: a reportedly great screenplay; a high-concept – a jealous girlfriend locks herself in a secret sound-proofed bunker with one-way mirrors at her b.f.’s house in order to spy on him, only to discover she can’t get out; and a mix of foreign and local cast , given that her b.f. is a foreign orchestra director invited to conduct in Bogota.
Co-financed with Colombia’s Dynamo and co-distributed internationally, “Hidden Mirror” achieved the rare feat of being a hit in both Colombia, where it was the highest-grossing Colombian film of the year, and in Spain, where it notched up a strong $3.1 million B.O. Colombia’s Dynamo produced with Spain’s Cactus Flower and Avalon.
While serving as FIP v.p. production, Kokourina focused largely on producing films in Europe, Latin America and Asia made for the local-language market, plus select international English-language titles, Tabula Rasa Films will focus on international English-language features.
“It’s really easier to do local-language films if you are a producer from that territory or a studio, because you need an infrastructure and knowledge of the specifics of the local market,” she said.
Kokourina main challenge as a producer of international English-language films is that she’s American. U.S. companies do co-finance high-profile foreign movies via distribution pre-sales or sales agents’ minimum guarantees.
America lacks a co-production treaty with foreign territories however, or subsidies open to access for films which qualify as American, via compliance with co-production treaties.
So Kokourina is looking to “reach out to producers and create the infrastructures for projects that lend themselves to being international.
Using Brazil’s Article 3 tax investment scheme – a credit on tax paid levied on foreign companies’ revenues in Brazil, Fox has distributed a bevy of Brazilian films in Brazil, including B.O. blockbuster “Nosso Lar” and the two parts of the even more popular “If I Were You” franchise. In Spain, it also distributed “Lope,” a Brazil-Spain co-production.