Latin American ramps up co-productions, more mainstream plays
MARBELLA, Spain – Three of Latin America’s leading movie co-producers – Uruguay’s Salado, Brazil’s BossaNovaFilms and Argentina’s Sudestada Cine – are teaming to produce “Porn for Newbies” (“Porno para Principiantes”), a late ’80s Uruguay indie movie scene comedy.
Salado’s Mariana Secco lead-produces, with Paula Cosenza and Denise Gomes at BossaNovaFilms and Sudestada Cine’s Ignacio Rey. Announcement was made at the second Platino Awards in Marbella, where Alvaro Brechner’s Salado-produced “Mr. Kaplan” competes for seven nominations including best picture, director and screenplay.
Directed by Carlos Ameglio, a vet Cannes Lions winning commercials helmer who helmed “El hombre de Walter” in 1995 before Uruguayan cinema lifted off internationally, “Porn” harks back to a Uruguay emerging from dictatorship where young wannabe filmmakers suddenly had access to previously banned titles screened at Uruguay’s Cineteca, but precious few means to make films themselves.
A port-based video importer-bootlegger, who runs a massive illicit duplication operation, persuades a porn-obsessed video store employee to make a hardcore movie. In turn, the latter convinces a young film buff, just out of film school, whose calling is auteurist high-art movies, to help co-direct the film. The latter has his own, more artistic ideas and determines to shoot a homage to Hollywood ’30s horror – think James Whale’s 1935 “Bride of Frankenstein.”
Argentine Martin Piroyansky, on fire in Argentina after directing and starring in “Voley,” one 2015 hit, and then toplining another success, “No Kids,” both backed by the Disney co-owned Patagonik, will star in “Porn,” which is co-written by Bruno Cancio, Leonel d’Agostino and Piroyansky.
Going into production year-end 2015, “Porn for Newbies” underscores diverse trends in Latin American filmmaking. One is how producers are actively leveraging government financial facilities to co-produce across the region. Movie taps coin from a dedicated Brazil-Uruguay co-production fund, for instance.
Post-arthouse, it also meshes mainstream elements with more artistic plays, using 16mm and desaturated low color-range video formats for the porn scenes and digital for other scenes.
“Porn for Newbies” mixes various concepts. Its DNA is based in independent cinema. But its structure, rhythm and production level is that of contemporary mainstream comedy, while it pays tribute to 1930s Hollywood genre, more specifically James Whale’s ‘Bride of Frankenstein,’” said Salado’s Secco.
Movie portrays an era. “After Uruguay’s dictatorship people made experimental films, shot in video; there was hardly any money for features, everybody were critics, and the Cineteca formed the tastes of a generation of filmmakers and spectators,” she added.
“But it’s also “a buddy movie, with a lot of action, intrigue, entertainment, which can establish a sense of complicity with an audience, but aims for something more as well,” targeting first and foremost the Uruguay and Argentine markets, Secco concluded.