MADRID — Gastón Duprat, the Mediapro Group and Latido Films are teaming on Mariano Cohn’s ‘4 x 4,’ starring Peter Lanzani (“The Clan”) and marking Cohn’s follow-up to “The Distinguished Citizen” which won Oscar Martínez a Volpi Cup best actor award at 2016’s Venice Festival before sweeping the 2017 Platino Awards.
Also Argentina’s Academy Award entry and the 2017 Spanish Academy best foreign Spanish-language winner, “The Distinguished Citizen” consolidated Duprat and Cohn’s status as one of Argentina’s foremost filmmaking forces. It shows in “4 x 4,” which is set up at Duprat and Cohn’s Buenos Aires-based Television Abierta and Spain’s Mediapro Group, itself rapidly emerging as one of the biggest independent film-TV forces in Europe.
Headed by Jaume Roures, Mediapro’s credits include Woody Allen’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” and “Midnight in Paris,” Paolo Sorrentino’s “The Young Pope” Fernando Leon’s Directors’ Fortnight-selected “A Perfect Day” and Gastón Duprat’s first solo directorial debut “Mi obra maestra,” as well as a slate of anticipated high-end dramas.
Madrid-based upscale specialist Latido Films, an agent on “The Distinguished Citizen” and “Mi obra maestra,” will handle worldwide sales.
“4 x 4” in many ways marks a departure for Duprat and Cohn. It is Cohn’s solo debut, after a directorial duo partnership with Duprat which goes back at least to 1991 short “El hombre que murió dos veces.” While Cohn and Duprat have built their fiction careers on dramedies, “4 x 4” mixes strong social comment, a Cohn-Duprat hallmark, with “the traditions of the best thrillers and an amazing, creative production design,” said Latido’s Antonio Saura.
From a Duprat-Cohn screenplay, “4 x 4” begins with a luxury 4 x 4 stationed on the pavement in a prosaic Buenos Aires district. A petty car thief (Lanzani) enters the vehicle. But when he tries to get out, he can’t. The doors, windows won’t open. The 4 x 4’s like an armored bunker: It was a trap.
Dady Brieva, a stand-out in “The Distinguished Citizen” as the Nobel Prize-winner’s doltish old school friend, plays the owner of the vehicle; veteran Luis Brandoni (“El hombre de tu vida”) is a police officer.
“4 x 4” is a “genre movie, a character tour de force,” said Cohn, saying the film “confronts spectators with a moral dilemma debated in Argentina and the world over: Taking justice into your own hands.”
“As always, Mediapro is betting on a project which will impact audiences, encouraging them to adopt a moral stance,” agreed Mediapro’s Javier Méndez, executive producer on the film. “4 x 4” also represents “an incredible technical challenge,” he added.
It will be shot in its entirety on an open-air sound-stage where set designers will construct more than 800 feet in length of sets, recreating the district where the action takes place.
As J.A. Bayona’s movies have demonstrated, Spain has top-notch technicians. ’4 x 4’ sees Mediapro bringing a brace to a movie by an Argentine auteur as part of the international co-production mix: Cinematographer Kiko de la Rica (“The Oxford Crimes,” “Sex and Lucía”); editors David Gallard (“[REC]”) and “Elena Ruíz (“The Impossible”), and sound designer Oriol Tarragó (“A Monster Calls”). Spanish studio Telson oversees VFX.
“The artistic and technical challenges of ‘4 x 4’ are highly stimulating,” said Duprat, who called the film “high-concept, with a compact full-on screenplay, and three superlative Argentine actors, one for each generation.”