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Latin leaders line up

Cuba's Perez rolls out first in biopic series

Cuba’s most prominent director Fernando Perez has signed on to helm a film about Cuban poet and freedom fighter Jose Marti.

Pic is projected as the first in a five-to-seven film collection called “Libertadores.”

Plan is to portray the men who wrestled independence for their countries in Latin America from Spanish dominion.

“Libertadores” is a macro project of Jose Maria and Miguel Morales’ Wanda Vision, actor-producer Sancho Gracia, pubcaster RTVE and, on occasions, single-pic co-producers.

Production of the movies is likely to stretch over five years, said Jose Maria Morales.

“The movies will vary in style and size. But most, like Perez’s, will probably be fictionalized. We don’t want to make classic-style docs. We want to capture the human side to these people, not portray statue-like heroes,” he added.

The producers have also inked with vet Argentina’s Fernando Solanas for a film about Argentine liberator Jose de San Martin.

Further films will focus on Gerneral Benardo O’Higgins for Chile, Jose Artigas for Uruguay, Tiradentes for Brazil and Simon Bolivar for Venezuela.

Pics will cost between E1 million and E2 million.

Perez’s currently-untitled portrayal of Marti will center on Marti’s adolescence, his conflicts with his father, his emergence as a poet and his growing passion for Cuban independence.

“At the moment, I’m developing a concept, I have some words and images. The film will end with Marti’s imprisonment at the age of fifteen,” Perez said.

Pic will be co-produced with Cuba’s ICAIC film institute.

Perez’s latest pic, the experimental “Madrigal,” world preems today as a Berlinale Special.

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