MAR DEL PLATA — “Sicario” helmer-scribe-producer Jose Ramon Novoa, whose sixth feature “Solo” (Alone) screens at Mar del Plata’s Latin American Panorama sidebar, has a slate of English and Spanish-language films in the pipeline.
Uruguyan-Venezuelan, Novoa has produced pics helmed by his wife Elia Schnieder (“Huelepega,” “Punto y Raya”) and his son Joel Novoa whose feature debut, “God’s Slave, has been a critical and festival hit, and who’s now prepping “ID2” in London with Sally Hibbin and Patrick Cassavetti producing.
Novoa also serves as an advisor to one of his favorite thesps, Laureano Olivarez, who is advancing on his directorial debut. Olivarez starred in “Sicario” at age 14 and has played the lead in Novoa’s “Devil’s Gold,” “El Don” and now “Solo.”
“Laureano is the best actor we have now in Venezuela; he’s adept at playing a wide variety of roles,” said Novoa. “He’s done comedies in theatre but his dramatic presence in film is overwhelming,” he added.
“Jose Ramon and Elia have been my artistic parents; I owe a lot to them,” said Olivarez, who is at Mar del Plata to present “Solo.” His upcoming feature debut “ El Ultimo Dia” turns on a long-time bank assistant bank manager married to an actress who together struggle to deal with the grave heart condition of their nine-year-old daughter.
Novoa’s slate of upcoming pics under his Joel Films banner include:
“Ashes of the Condor” – possibly in English, with an estimated budget of $7 million. Novoa is drafting a script for what will likely be a co-production between Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and the U.S. Based on Uruguayan author/journo Fernando Butazzoni’s ‘investigative novel’ “Cenizas del Condor,” which details the infamous Operation Condor hatched during the military dictatorships of South America in the ‘70s and ‘80s. To be helmed by Novoa.
“Blind” – to be directed by Joel Novoa, in English; Est. budget $4 million. Setting up with Original Artists in LA. Co-penned with Frederic Richter. Set against the Israel-Palestine conflict, which pits two half brothers, one Israeli, the other Palestinian, against each other.
“Bullet Lullaby” – in English, Est. Budget $6 million; a “Sicario” adaptation set in the Mexican border with California and Texas. Co-penned with Scott Cunningham. To be helmed by Novoa.
“Pando” – in Spanish with subtitles, Est. budget $2.5 million. Centers on the taking of the city of Pando in Uruguay by the Tupamaro guerillas. To be directed by Novoa, produced by Schneider.
“The Box” – in English, Est. budget $1.5 million. Tale of a Cuban who manages to ship himself to the U.S. via Fedex. To be helmed by Schneider.
“Unfit” – in English, Est. budget $9 million. To be directed by Schneider from a screenplay penned by Schnieder, Cunningham and Daniel Klein. Pic centers on the corporate-backed eugenics program which originated in California in 1900s, and which the Nazis adapted in their nefarious bid to build an Aryan race.
Finally, Novoa is editing “Tamara,” about brilliant Venezuelan lawyer Tamara Adrian who underwent a sex change, which Schneider helmed. “Bullet Lullaby” and “Pando” will be the first to go in production, per Novoa.
Novoa and Uruguay-based international sales agent, Leon Films will take “Solo,” about a military man with a clairvoyant son, to Ventana Sur.