You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Alameda Films still spry at 60

Producer started 'Daniel & Ana' last week

Alameda Films, Mexico’s oldest and most prolific film production company, marks its 60th year with a turn toward edgier fare. The producer of various Arturo Ripstein classics and 2003 Oscar-nommed “The Crime of Father Amaro,” the highest-grossing local pic in Mexican film history, started shooting “Daniel & Ana” last week. Drama tracks two siblings whose joint kidnapping takes its toll on their relationship and their family.

Budgeted at $1.5 million, somber tale is the directorial feature debut of Michel Franco and stars newcomers Dario Yazbek Bernal, the younger brother of “Father Amaro” lead Gael Garcia Bernal, and Marimar Vega, daughter of veteran thesp Gonzalo Vega. Cinematographer Chuy Chavez’s credits include the visually arresting “Me and You and Everyone We Know.” Spain’s Morena Films co- produces pic.

Under the stewardship of Daniel Birman Ripstein, who took over full reins of the company when partner/ grandfather Alfredo Ripstein (and father of helmer Arturo) died in January 2007, Alameda Films has a lined up a couple of ambitious projects.

Shingle moves into uncharted territory with its first animated pic, “El Santos,” based on the wildly popular ’80s comic strip by illustrators Jis and Trino. Development has been under way the past three years, according to Birman who, chafing at the sluggish pace of animation filmmaking, says the pic should be finished by 2010.

“El Santos” could bring Alameda box office gold, just as it did the makers of 2006 toon “Una pelicula de huevos” (A Movie With Eggs), which now ranks as the second all-time grossing Mexican pic. Alameda is also developing an adaptation of Arthur Machen’s short story, “The Islington Mystery” which inspired the darkly comic 1960 pic “El esqueleto de la Senora Morales” (The Skeleton of Mrs. Morales).

Meanwhile, company is prepping digitally restored collections of the more than 100 pics produced by Alfredo Ripstein/Alameda since 1948, among them Jorge Pons’ “Midaq Alley,” which launched Salma Hayek.

Shingle produced a couple of docus in the past years, among them Carrera’s “The Red Queen: A Mayan Mystery” for the Discovery Channel. Birman is co-producing the Mexican adaptation of Broadway show “Avenue Q.” He also heads sister distrib Film House, which has released a number of pics.

“There just weren’t that many good projects out there,” says Birman of the shingle’s five year hiatus from fiction pics. But once he read Franco’s screenplay, Birman jumped at the chance to produce it. “I know that this has been well worth the wait.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Mackenzie Davis Terminator Dark Fate

    ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Paramount Pictures claims the top spot in spending with “Terminator: Dark Fate.” Ads placed for the sci-fi action film had an estimated media value of $6.81 million through Sunday for 796 national ad airings [...]

  • Judy & Punch review

    Damon Herriman Stands Out as 'The Nightingale' and 'Lambs of God' Lead AACTA Nominations

    Dark thriller, “The Nightingale” and miniseries “Lambs of God” lead the pack at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards. In nominations announced on Wednesday, they picked up 15 and 18 nods, respectively. Jennifer Kent’s “The Nightingale” was one of six films nominated in the best film category. With others including Mirrah Foulkes’ [...]

  • Cardi B

    Cardi B Joins Vin Diesel in 'Fast & Furious 9'

    Cardi B has joined the cast of Universal’s “Fast & Furious 9” in an undisclosed role. It’s the rapper’s first movie part since her role as the stripper Diamond in STX’s drama “Hustlers.” Vin Diesel disclosed the casting Tuesday in a post on his Instagram account with a video that showed him and Cardi B [...]

  • James Wan

    Film News Roundup: James Wan's Horror Thriller 'Malignant' Gets August Release

    In today’s film news roundup, James Wan’s “Malignant” gets a late-summer release, a Rita Hayworth documentary is shooting and Women in Animation have announced diversity awards winners. RELEASE DATE Warner Bros. has set an Aug. 14 release date for James Wan’s horror thriller “Malignant.” Wan will direct the movie, based on a story by Wan [...]

  • Michael Shannon Benedict Cumberbatch Tuppence Middleton

    How Martin Scorsese Saved 'Current War' From Harvey Weinstein

    Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon finally gets to release his version of his long-in-the-making “The Current War.” The film, about the competition between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse, was originally set to be distributed by the Weinstein Company after Harvey Weinstein recut it, much to Gomez-Rejon’s chagrin. To make matters worse, Weinstein premiered the movie at the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content