Actor Rafael Amaya set to direct

Joins other helmers for Guillermo Arriaga project 'The Zero Hour'

Mexican thesp Rafael Amaya is adding a director gig to his resume, as he is one of the up-and-coming helmers chosen to participate in Guillermo Arriaga’s latest creative endeavor, “La Hora Cero” (The Zero Hour).

“Babel” scribe Arriaga is producing the ambitious project, planned as a series of four shorts based on the same script that each director will interpret in his own way. The short quartet will be shown together as one feature-length film.

Arriaga and Amaya will direct two of the shorts, while thesps Jorge A. Jimenez (Hermoso Silencio) and Vanessa Bauche will direct the other two. Bauche co-starred in Arriaga-scripted pics “Amores Perros” and “The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada.”

Story will follow a couple driving in the desert who witness a car crash and must make life-or-death decisions about what to do.

Amaya is currently casting his short and scouting locations in the Mexican desert.

“I respect Rafael Amaya as an actor. I like his screen presence and his commitment to each character he represents. Now I trust him as one of the directors that will film ‘La Hora Cero,’ a screenplay that will be directed by several filmmakers to see how their vision can change a story. I’m sure he is going to give his soul and guts into the project,” Arriaga said.

As an actor, Amaya will next star in “El Senor De Los Cielos” (Lord of the Skies), Telemundo’s biggest-budget production to date. Based on actual events, Amaya will portray the powerful drug dealer Damian Torres, who undergoes facial reconstruction while planning to disappear with his family and start a new life and avoid capture. Production starts next year in Mexico.

Amaya is best known for starring in the 2010 telenovelas “Alguien Te Mira” (Somebody’s Watching You) and “La Reina del Sur” (Queen of the South), the latter of which debuted as the highest-rated soap opera in Telemundo’s history. The award-winning actor also produced the short film “The Finding,” which screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010. He’s repped by Peter M. Robles of Aquos Entertainment Group and Steven Adams of Alta Entertainment. Arriaga previously wrote and directed 2008 Charlize Theron-Jennifer Lawrence starrer “The Burning Plain” and is currently directing and producing a segment of the omnibus film “Words With Gods.” His screenplay “The Tiger” is in development at Focus Features with “Bullhead” helmer Michael Roskam directing. He’s repped by CAA and attorney Linda Lichter.