On the eve of the American Film Market, Filmax Intl. has boarded English-language “The Chosen,” from Antonio Chavarrias (“Dictation,” “Celia’s Lives), which is set up at Chavarrias’ Barcelona-sited Oberon Cinematografica and Monica Lozano’s Mexico City-based Alebrije Cine y Video, the producer of “Instructions Not Included.”
Set in 1940s Mexico, and one of the high-profile projects coming on to the market from Spain and Mexico, the espionage thriller is based on the incredible but true story of the assassination of Leon Trotsky by Spanish communist Ramón Mercader. Now in pre-production, it is scheduled to shoot in February. The producers are locking down an international cast.
“Not only do we have a powerful story, based on some of the most intriguing real life events of one of the most turbulent times in our modern history, but with Antonio Chavarrias on directing and screenwriting duty, I have no doubt that the result will be nothing less than a stunning thriller. Our friends at Oberon are extremely talented producers; it is an honor to be working with them again,” said Ivan Díaz at Filmax Intl., which, repping sales rights, will introduce “The Chosen” to buyers in Santa Monica.
“I feel extremely lucky to be able to direct a film about such an important and decisive event as is the assassination of Leon Trotsky,” said director-producer Antonio Chavarrías. “It’s not often you find a true story that has so many elements of a classic cinematic thriller and which at the same time boasts such passionate and idealistic characters; characters who are as much the victims of their own sentiments and dreams as anything else.”
Just three instances of passion: Mercader was introduced into Stalin’s GPU – the forerunner of Russia’s KGB – by his own mother. Given a false identity in Russia as a Canadian millionaire, Jacques Mornard, he maintained it for 20 years. Mercader stepped forward to attempt to murder Trotsky after an attack on the ex-Soviet leader by 20 armed men had failed.