The Vanished Elephant
Courtesy of Calvo Films

Critique on Peruvian high-society backed by same producers of ‘The Vanished Elephant’

LIMA – The producers of Javier Fuentes-Leon’s “The Vanished Elephant,” Dynamo (Colombia), Cactus Flower (Spain) and Peru’s Tondero Films, have boarded the Peruvian helmer-scribe’s next pic “Noblesse Oblige.” Fuentes-Leon’s Calvo Films co-produces and will also tap the grant received from Peru’s state fund last year.

A critique of Peru’s conservative society, “Noblesse Oblige” (a working title) revolves around two wealthy matriarchs, both childhood friends and rivals, whose favorite sons living in Spain have secretly married. Their relationship is revealed in a very public way when they visit their mothers in Peru.

“I seek to poke fun at the homophobia in Peru as well as the class and racial divides in Peruvian society,” said Fuentes-Leon. “The story takes place within the context of Lima’s decadent aristocracy,” he noted, adding that he plans to visit Spain in October to further develop the screenplay, close financing and casting.

“We are talking to some well-known Spanish actors,” he said.

Plans include shooting for around eight weeks during Peru’s summer next year, between March and May.

Although based in L.A., Fuentes-Leon has returned to Peru time and time again to make his films, starting with his critically acclaimed feature debut, “Undertow,” which took home a string of plaudits led by a World Cinema Audience Award at the 2010 Sundance film fest.

Scenes from his second pic, mystery thriller “The Vanished Elephant” were inspired by photographic collage Pearblossom Highway by the quintessential Los Angeles expat-resident artist David Hockney. The title refers to the elephant-shaped Mendieta rock formation that crumbled into the ocean during Peru’s 2007 earthquake.

Fuentes-Leon recently penned the screen adaptation of rock musical “Av. Larco,” which had a three-month theatrical run in Lima last year, and was produced by Tondero. “It used rock hits from Peruvian bands of the ‘80s and ‘90s, the most violent decades of Peru’s recent history,” he said.

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