Genre forces Eli Roth and livewire Chilean fillmaker Nicolas Lopez, will be honored at the Austin Fantastic Fest’s Latin American Genre Co-production Market where they will receive its inaugural La de Dios Award.
They will also deliver a keynote speech and then discuss their Chilewood, an ambitious – and enfranchising – project to create films from Chile for mainstream U.S. audiences and the world at large.
Roth and Lopez both served as producers on “The Stranger,” which will world premiere at the Austin Fest Sept. 19, is and from their screenwriting partner Guillermo Amoedo. An English-language mystery thriller, set in Canada’s Northwest, which is “more grounded” than most vampire films, Amoedo has said, “The Stranger” marks his feature debut as a director.
Born with 2012’s Lopez-directed “Aftershock,” the Roth/Lopez writing-directing-producing partnership, abetted by Lopez’s producing partner Miguel Asensio Llamas and U.S. co-financing, has now produced the Roth-directed cannibal horror-thriller “The Green Inferno,” a hit at Toronto last year, Voltage Pictures-sold “Knock Knock,” with Roth again in the director’s chair and one of the quickest-selling titles at this year’s Cannes market, and “The Stranger,” produced by Amoedo, Lopez, Asensio and Roth.
Chilewood taps into Chilean talent – Lorenzo Izzo, a star of Lopez’s “Que pena tu boda,” “Aftershock,” “Green Inferno,” and “Knock Knock” –really contained budgets which do not preclude spectacular special effects by Latin American standards, accessible high-tech production, Roth’s contacts and eye-catching track-record of box office compared to movies’ budgets, and above all Roth and Lopez’s ability to deliver movies which work with genre aficionados and wider auds.
“I’ve had an amazing experience, both creatively and financially in Chile partnering with Nicolas Lopez and Miguel Asensio,” Roth said in statement.
“Their whole approach to filmmaking is completely different from anywhere in the world, and I’ve found it to be far more creative as well as cost- effective. As the business changes and contracts and costs are cut filmmakers need to find ways to make their films without sacrificing quality or scope.”
He added: “We’re making theatrical genre films for a global audience, building Santiago as a new production base for filmmakers from every country. It’s been an amazing, fruitful partnership, and we feel like we’re only beginning.”
Lopez commented: “Eli came to Chile in 2011, he loved my crew, our mentality and my producer and business partner Miguel Asensio. A year later we were shooting Aftershock, six months later we shot ‘The Green Inferno’ and six months after that ‘The Stranger’ and in May we wrapped ‘Knock, Knock, starring Keanu Reeves.”
“At the same time we shot a TV pilot and I did a trilogy of romantic comedies in Spanish (‘Que pena tu vida, ‘Que pena tu boda,’ ‘Que pena tu familia’) and a ‘Promedio Rojo’ sequel.
“We called this concept Chilewood. Making movies from Chile, for the world, for a price, without losing quality and creativity. I found in Eli a real connection between Chile and Hollywood and he found a home where he can develop any project.”
“Fantastic Fest gave me the special Jury Prize for ‘Santos’ and they premiered ‘Aftershock’ in the U.S. I love Fantastic Fest and it’s an honor to have the world premiere Guillermo Amoedo’s ‘The Stranger’ this year.”
“The partnership between Nicolas Lopez and Eli Roth reflects the exact spirit with which Fantastic Market was started,” says market director Rodney Perkins. “We welcome their attendance at the market and look forward to their insights.”