Paradigm Signs Jorge Michel Grau (EXCLUSIVE)

Writer-director a leading light on the Mexico/Latino genre scene

Jorge Michel Grau, writer-director of “Somos lo que hay” (We Are What We Are) and one of Mexico’s seminal new genre pic filmmakers, has signed with the Paradigm Talent Agency for representation.

Playing Cannes 2010 Directors’ Fortnight and a hit with fanboys – who burst into applause several times at a Sitges Fest screening – fest juries and more general audiences, the Wild Bunch-sold “Somos lo que hay” established Grau immediately as a genre moviemaker with an original voice, here exploring family dynamics through a cannibal movie.

A Chicago Festival Silver Hugo Jury Prize winner that also took best feature and screenplay New Wave Awards at Austin’s Fantastic Fest, “Somos” also established Grau from the get-go as a Mexican/U.S. crossover talent, sparking a hit 2013 U.S. remake from Jim Mickle, “We Are What We Are,” which segued from the Sundance Festival to Cannes’ Directors Fortnight.

Produced by Christine Vachon’s “Big Sky,” Grau’s next feature and English-language debut, with Bella Thorne, Kyra Sedgwick and Frank Grillo, is currently in post, He is also set to direct the feature “Curse the Darkness,” to be produced by Elijah Wood’s Spectrevision, which is slated to go into production in August.

Grau’s credits also include segments in film anthologies “México Barbaro,” “The ABCs of Death,” and “60 Seconds of Solitude in Year Zero.” He also directed the TV movie “Chalán.”

Another project, “Yamaha 300,” presented this week at the Guadalajara Festival, is another instance of Grau’s Mexico/U.S. crossover sensibilities: It’s co-produced by Andrew Corkin’s New York-based Uncorked Productions, melding U.S. genre tradition – a suspense thriller with action elements – English and Spanish dialogue and a U.S. location off the Miami coast, but based on a Mexican’s stage play.

Grau’s signing comes just days after Paradigm announced that it will represent Colombian actress Carolina Guerra. Grau becomes the latest high-profile Hispanic/Latino crossover talent to sign with Paradigm, joining actors Guerra, Oscar Jaenada (“Cantinflas”), Luis Gerardo Mendez (“We Are the Nobles”), Edy Ganem (“Devious Maids”) and Ilse Salas (“Gueros”). Also represented by Paradign are directors Marco Polo Constandse (“Marry If You Can”) and Jose Manuel Cravioto (“Reversal,” “El mas bucado”) and producer Daniel Posada’s Dark Factory Entertainment (“One Shot,” “Reversal”).

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