Bogota-based Blond Indian Films has taken a minority co-production stake in Spaniard Irene Gutierrez’s Cuba-set docu-fiction “Wolfdog.”
The hybrid feature, about the return of the Cuban soldiers that fought in the Angola Civil War, won a special mention at September’s San Sebastian Europe-Latin America Co-Production Forum, which included an invitation to Ventana Sur’s current edition.
Structured as a Spain-Cuba-Colombia co-production, project, currently at a writing stage, also teams Canary Island’s outfit El Viaje Films, run by Spanish producer Jose Alayon. The Cuban participation is channeled through Gutierrez’s shingle Cienfuegos Producciones.
In line with Gutierrez’s first feature, “Hotel Nueva Isla,” a Cuba-Spain co-production backed by the Sundance Institute, “Wolfdog,” its follow-up, is conceived as a “state of deliberate imprecision, on the frontier between fiction and the more performance-based documentary,” she said.
Pic toplines Cuban Mario Guerra (“Chico & Rita,” “El Benny”), the only professional actor in the film -playing as himself-, who took part in the Angola War when he was 20.
Emphasizing pic’s choral nature, the rest of the cast will be people that has gone through the real experience of being a mother, widow or orphan of the Angola War Cuban victims.
Set in 1991, when the last Cuban troops stationed in Angola return to the island, “Wolfdog” tells how Mario comes back after two years at the front with the belongings of his brother, who died in action. Mario will find a country deep in a profound economic and spiritual crisis caused by the disintegration of the Soviet Union.
“‘Wolfdog’ focuses precisely on this re-integration period, kicking off with the story of two brothers -the dead hero and the alive anti-hero. Rather than the war, I want to talk about the war wounds,” Gutierrez said.
Shooting is scheduled to start first-half 2016’s, largely taking place in Cuba’s Sierra Maestra.
With an estimated cost of $435,000, film has secured 30% of its full budget, including producers’ private funds and backing by Cuba’s San Antonio de los Banos Intl. School of Film and Television, EICTV film school and TV Serrana.
“Wolfdog” has just won a $5,000 development prize at Costa Rica’s Cinergia Lab and will apply for Spanish and Colombian public film subsidies, Ibermedia funds and Canary Island tax breaks.
Blond Indian Films’ co-founders Carlos Garcia and Katrin Pors are attending Ventana Sur to pitch the project.