Deal was sealed Tuesday at the Mexican fest. Machete – whose credits include two of Mexico’s most lauded debuts in recent years – Michael Rowe’s Cannes Camera d’Or winner “Leap Year” and Diego Quemada Diez’s Cannes Un Certain Talent laureat “La jaula de oro” – will co-produce with Yanick Letourneau’s Montreal-based Peripheria Productions, “X Quinientos’” lead producer.
Also co-producing is Jorge Andres Botero’s Septima Films in Colombia, a producer on Arango’s debut, “La Playa DC,” which played Cannes Un Certain Regard and was Colombia’s foreign-language Oscar submission.
Set in Mexico, Canada and Colombia, “X Quinientos’’’ three intertwining stories turn on individuals – a 16-year-old boy from an indigenous village in Mexico who finds dignity and a sense of belonging becoming a pogo-ing punk in Mexico City; a Colombia drug cartel member; the grand-daughter of a Filipino maid in Canada – who, after the death of a loved-one, go through physical transformation.
Arango said he is working on a third-draft screenplay that should be completed by the end of April. He said “X Quinientos” is a more ambitious film turning on adolescent transformation in very different places in the Americas, exploring the duality between the specific and universal.
“X Quinientos” marks a pioneering co-production between Canada, which has some of the most agile co-production facilities in the world, and two countries with among the strongest public film support systems in Latin America.
The deal comes as Quebec is Guadalajara’s guest territory of honor and Canada is driving to construct more co-production relations with Latin America.
That has allowed for highly useful collaborations, even in “X Quinentos’’” development stage. “X Quinientos” received development support from Quebec’s SODEC funding agency this May, plus Quebec Arts Council and Ibermedia development coin, allowing Arango to carry out extensive research on first nation communities in Mexico and Filipino communities in Montreal, Letourneau said.
“The stories connect magnificently, I liked ‘La Playa’ very much, the Mexican story is very well researched, and the co-production is very natural, healthy,” said Edher Campos, who heads up Machete with Luis Salinas.
Once the screenplay is completed, the partners will apply to film funds in their respective territories, aiming to go into production in 2015, Letourneau added.