You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Los Angeles new base for Latin partners

Duteil to o'see day-to-day operations of Cuaron/Vergara venture

VENICE — Director Alfonso Cuaron and entrepreneur-turned-producer Jorge Vergara will extend their relationship with a Los Angeles-based company to develop, produce and finance U.S. feature films.

The duo’s most recent collaboration, the Mexican box office hit “Y Tu Mama Tambien” (And Your Mother Too), had its international premiere Thursday in the official competition at the Venice Intl. Film Festival.

Plans were outlined by Cuaron and Vergara for the as-yet-unnamed company at the fest.

Cuaron and Vergara already are partnered in Mexican production outfit Anhelo Producciones, which co-produced “Mama” and Guillermo Del Toro’s “The Devil’s Backbone.”

While that operation will continue to serve Latin America and Spain and focus on Spanish-language films, the LA company will concentrate on English-language product. However, the principals do not exclude taking on Asian or European pics.

“This will be a streamlined, low-overhead company with a quick decision-making process and very flexible business plan, allowing us to make as many or as few features each year as we feel is right, depending on the kind of projects that come along,” Cuaron told Daily Variety.

The director, who made “A Little Princess” and “Great Expectations” in Hollywood before returning to Mexico for “Mama,” said the company will secure and develop his projects on a nonexclusive basis, in addition to fostering films for other directors. Cuaron plans to continue working between Mexico and the U.S., where his unannounced next project will be made. He also is considering doing a film in India.

“I have to take it film by film,” Cuaron said. “This new operation, together with our Mexican company, allows me to do just that; putting together films in the U.S., Mexico, Europe or even Asia and possibly getting involved as a producer in other filmmakers’ work.”

Duteil in charge

Arnaud Duteil, who shares greenlighting power with Cuaron and Vergara, will oversee day-to-day operations. A former Canal Plus exec based in L.A. for the past eight years, Duteil has been involved in the Gallic company’s acquisition and production of U.S. features, including Larry Clark’s “Bully,” also screening in the Venice competition.

“Our aim is to create a filmmaker-friendly environment, which basically means we think one person is responsible for getting the movie on the screen,” Duteil said.

Principal financing for the company’s projects will come from Vergara’s Guadalajara-based nutritional product group, Omnilife, which distributes throughout Latin America, Spain and the U.S. and last year posted revenues of $650 million.

A formal announcement is expected to be made during the New York Film Festival with the new company’s name, key executive appointments and initial projects.

“Mama” made $12 million in Mexico, making it the top-grossing national production in domestic B.O. history.

Sold by Good Machine Intl. to every major territory except the U.K. and Australia, “Mama” segues from Venice to the Toronto and New York fests and will open in the U.S. through IFC in March.

Good Machine Intl. president David Linde, who was exec producer on the pic, will handle international distribution of titles produced through the new venture. Domestically, the principals are looking to establish a privileged arrangement with a U.S. distrib.

More Film

  • Black Panther

    'Black Panther,' 'Crazy Rich Asians,' 'Westworld' Among Costume Designers Guild Winners

    “Crazy Rich Asians,” “The Favourite” and “Black Panther” walked away with top honors at the 21st annual Costume Designers Guild Awards Tuesday night, the final industry guild show before the Oscars on Feb. 24. “The Favourite” and “Black Panther” are up for the Oscar this year, along with “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” “Mary Poppins [...]

  • WGA Writers Contract Talks

    Talent Agents, WGA Achieve Progress in Second Round of Talks

    Hollywood talent agents and the Writers Guild of America have achieved some progress at their second negotiating session over agency regulations, according to sources close to the talks. The two sides met Tuesday, two weeks after their first meeting resulted in both sides criticizing each other, followed by the WGA holding a trio of spirited [...]

  • Aaron Paul

    Film News Roundup: Aaron Paul Honored by Sun Valley Film Festival

    In today’s film news roundup, Aaron Paul is honored, Bruce Berman is re-upped at Village Roadshow, and Paola Mendoza and Abby Sher get a book deal. FESTIVAL HONORS The Sun Valley Film Festival has selected Idaho native and three-time Emmy winner Aaron Paul as the winner of its Pioneer Award, presented by Variety for his [...]

  • Olivia Munn]EMILY'S List Pre-Oscars Brunch, Inside,

    Olivia Munn Says Brett Ratner Called Her Before His 'Howard Stern' Apology

    Olivia Munn is setting the record straight about standing up to “Rush Hour” director Brett Ratner, whom she alleges sexually harassed her over a decade ago. During a panel discussion at the Emily’s List pre-Oscars brunch at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills Tuesday morning, Munn revealed that Ratner called her in 2011 after he denied [...]

  • Flesh Out review

    Berlin Film Review: 'Flesh Out'

    Ignore the awful English-language title: “Flesh Out” is an emotionally rich, sensitively made film about a young woman in Mauritania forced to gain weight in order to conform to traditional concepts of well-rounded beauty before her impending marriage. Strikingly registering the sensations of a protagonist living between the dutiful traditions of her class and the [...]

  • Marighella review

    Berlin Film Review: 'Marighella'

    Does Brazil need a film that openly advocates armed confrontation against its far-right government? That’s the first question that needs to be asked when discussing “Marighella,” actor Wagner Moura’s directorial debut focused on the final year in the life of left-wing insurrectionist Carlos Marighella during Brazil’s ruthless military dictatorship. For whatever one might think of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content