Salma Hayek to star in ‘Americano’

Thesp teams with Mathieu Demy in Tijuana club pic

Exclusive: Salma Hayek, in Cannes to present footage from DreamWorks Animation’s “Puss in Boots,” is teaming with Mathieu Demy, son of Jacques Demy and Agnes Varda, on “Americano,” Demy’s directorial debut.

Hayek plays a dancer at Americano, a private club in Tijuana opposite actor-turned-director Demy (“Tomboy”).

Paris-based Bac Films has taken international rights to the French and English-lingo pic outside France.

Shot in Paris, Los Angeles and Tijuana, the Demy-written “Americano” also stars Geraldine Chaplin, Chiara Mastroianni, Jean-Pierre Mocky and Carlos Bardem.

Demy plays a man who travels to Los Angeles, where he grew up, to settle his inheritance. His mother’s apartment reawakens childhood images and, troubled, he takes off to Tijuana to meet a childhood friend — played by Hayek — who remained very close to his mother and dances at the Americano.

Initially an auteur film, “Americano” becomes a road movie, then enters a near-surreal world in Mexico, said Bac Films’ Mathieu Robinet.

Varda’s Cine-Tamaris and Mathieu Demy’s Les Films de l’Autre produce; Arte France Cinema co-produces. Les Films du Losange handles French distribution.

Laced with autobiographical detail, “Americano” uses footage from Varda’s semi-fictional feature “Documenteur,” which filmed Demy when he was 8 and living with her in Los Angeles.

For Demy, “Americano” “tackles a theme that relates to my history, my identity: transmission. What do you inherit from your parents? … And how do you write your own story?”

Hayek is now pursuing an acting career on both sides of the Atlantic, having shot Spaniard Alex de la Iglesia’s “As Luck Would Have It” in Spain this March.

Bac owner Roch Lerner is revamping its international sales op. “Americano” is Bac Films’ first purely international pickup, without it also taking French distribution,

Gilles Sousa has been upped to sales head, with ex-Funny Balloons exec Robinet tapped as a sales-acquisitions exec.