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Alvarez Docu Gets Support From Inarritu

Director and producer Julio Chavesmontes team on Jose Alvarez's third feature

CANNES  Alejandro G. Inarritu is teaming with Julio Chavezmontes’ Piano for the third feature from Jose Alvarez (pictured, “Canicula”).

Documentary centers on a Veracruz fishing village community leader, a charismatic woman and former prostitute. Now in her 50s, she is still mourning the lives lost at sea in one of the largest storms in recent memory. Her search for closure leads her to Don Gabriel, an enigmatic 95-year-old shaman in a remote village, who claims to have control over the storms and the sea.

Co-produced with Cologne-based Sutor Kolonko, Alvarez’s untitled docu-feature “touches themes of struggle, loss, survival and the nature of faith in rural Mexico,” said Chavezmontes.

Inarritu’s exec producer role looks set to give Alvarez’s film larger visibility. His endorsement of Emiliano Rocha Minter’s post-Apocalypse parable “We Are the Flesh,” also produced by Chavezmontes, helped build buzz around a movie which closed U.S. rights at Cannes with Arrow Films.

Piano is also lead-producing “Tiempo Compartido,” starring Luis Gerardo Mendez (“The Noble Family”), Miguel Rodarte (“Saving Private Perez”) and  Cassandra Ciangherotti (“The Hours With You”). The second feature by Sebastian Hoffman (“Halley”), and now in post, the black comedy about two haunted family men in a remote tropical paradise is being structured as a U.K.-Netherlands co-production.

Chavezmontes also reconfirmed that an “A-List American actor” will  star in “Opus Zero,” about a U.S. musicologist who, after the death of his father, settles in Real de Catorce, a village in Northern Mexico, surrounded by remote desert, to reconstruct the end of an early twentieth century symphony written by a Norwegian composer. That, and the disappearance of a woman from the village in 1980, begins to unhinge him. British director Graham served as U.K. line-producer on Reygadas’ “Post Tenebras Lux,” will director. Reygadas is co-producing.

Piano aims for “a middle ground where a project can be idiosyncratic and personal but have the appeal of recognizable actors or an international cast that can draw audiences,” Chavezmontes told Variety.

“That’s a model closer to what we’ve seen in Europe, or even the U.S. with people like Paul Thomas  Anderson, Charlie Kaufman and Spike Jonze. To us, ‘Tempo compartido’ is a first incursion into this.”

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