BUENOS AIRES – Making good on its promise to drive into local content following its purchase of Argentine free-to-air network Telefe last year, Viacom International Media Networks-Americas is putting its weight behind its first theatrical film production in Latin America: “Animal,” a thriller from Oscar-winning screenwriter Armando Bo.
Produced Bo’s label Rebolución, MyS Producción and Telefe, all based in Argentina, “Animal” is the first movie in which VIMN-Americas, via Telefe, will have a big equity stake. It also marks the first time that VIMN-Americas will itself oversee Latin American distribution rights for all platforms on a local feature.
With Film Factory as sales agent for all other global markets and Bowfinger International as co-producer, both out of Spain, “Animal” brings together a new iteration of a multinational combo that has produced some of the most powerful Spanish-language films of the last few years, such as Damián Szifron’s “Wild Tales” and Pablo Trapero’s “The Clan.” In a statement, VIMN-Americas described “Animal” as “the biggest and most highly anticipated Spanish-language theatrical film set to be released in 2018.”
Penned by Bo and his partner Nicolás Giacobone, the Oscar-winning writing team behind Alejandro G. Iñarritú’s “Birdman,” “Animal” stars Guillermo Francella, who played the upstanding alcoholic in “The Secret in Their Eyes” and the evil family patriarch in “The Clan.”
According to “Animal’s” synopsis, Francella plays a man who has what seems a perfect life: a beautiful wife (Carla Peterson, star of this year’s Argentine smash hit, “Ten Days Without Mom”), a good job and future. But he discovers he needs something that almost nobody is willing to give and finds himself dealing with a young couple ready to save him with an offer he cannot refuse, but with unexpected results.
“We’re excited to be part of this highly anticipated theatrical production via our Telefe Films division,” said Pierluigi Gazzolo, president, VIMN Americas. “Working with such incredible talent like Armando and his team furthers our commitment to deliver the best-quality content for our audiences across the world.”
“Four years have passed since this story began, which we co-wrote with Nicolás Giacobone, who is my cousin and partner in the screenwriting trade,” Bo said. “For the film, a lot of things happened, especially from having lived abroad for a long time and from the growth that came with ‘Birdman.’ This is my opportunity to be able to capture everything I grew up with in recent years on the big screen.”
Bo and Giacobone also wrote Iñarritu’s “Biutiful,” nominated for both an Academy Award and Golden Globe for best foreign-language film. Bo’s debut feature, “The Last Elvis,” about a man much more comfortable dealing with the world via his Elvis persona than as himself, swept six Argentine Academy Ariel Awards and San Sebastian’s Latinos Horizontes prize – the latter a de facto plaudit for best Latin American film of the year.