BUENOS AIRES– Bogota-based Itaca Films Colombia, the new partnership launched by former Dynamo producer/co-founder Rodrigo Guerrero and AG Studios prexy Alex Garcia, is producing five shorts in a feature format as the first of multiple projects.
Shooting from November 16 thru December 17, the shorts penned and helmed by Colombia’s Carlos Moreno (“Que Viva la Musica”), Maria Gamboa (Colombian 2015 Foreign Oscar entry, “Mateo”), Javier Mejia (“Apocalipsur”), Jorge Navas (“Buenaventura Mon Amour”), and co-directors Lucas Maldonado (“Noche Buena”) and Antonio Von Hildebrand (“Pablo’s Hippos”) will offer five singular glimpses of life in the Amazon and its worldview today. Garcia, Guerrero and Claudia Roca of Itaca Films Colombia and A.P.E Stories’ Hildebrand and Emiliano Mansilla serve as producers.
Shorts will stream online during the inaugural Colombian ‘Amazon Eye to Eye’ multiplatform summit slated for summer 2015. Spearheading the film project is Hildebrand, whose father, the anthropologist and ethnologist Martin von Hildebrand, has led efforts to protect indigenous territorial rights and protect the Colombian Amazon tropical forest.
To take place in the Amazonian capital of Leticia, Colombia, the four-day live streamed event will include high-level talks, showcases of new technologies and sustainability innovations as well as a film fest, music shows, and other cultural activities.
This five-short omnibus project dovetails with Itaca Films Colombia’s mandate, said Guerrero. “Protecting the environment is a key message we want to transmit across all the genres we will be producing, from horror to dramas,” he said, adding that he also seeks to bring filmmakers from the Amazon to shoot in other locations, and bring their Amazonian sensibilities to bear on their stories.
Guerrero recently finished postproduction on transmedia project “Que viva la Musica” (Live Forever) a music and dance coming-of-age co-production between Itaca Films and Dynamo, helmed by Moreno (“Dog Eat Dog”).
“Working on this project made me realize that we had to build the Itaca Colombia brand and our audiences across various platforms,” said Guerrero. “As windows collapse, the key to maintaining a long-term commitment with your audience is to offer your project on all devices,” he said. A transmedia approach such as in “Que Viva la Musica” allows the audience to follow the movie after it screens in theatres through the web, social media, TV spinoffs etc., he added.
Cine Colombia releases “Que Viva la Musica” theatrically next year but pic, inspired by Andres Caicedo’s best selling book, built buzz even before a single frame was shot through online casting, a social media page and the controversy over making a big-screen adaptation of this beloved cult novel. “Some people felt it shouldn’t be made into a film,” said Guerrero.
Itaca Colombia, which will also be producing TV series as well as offering production services in the country, will work in close tandem with Itaca’s head office in Mexico City, headed by CEO and producer Santiago Garcia, Itaca Films U.S. in New Orleans and Itaca Films Brazil in Rio de Janeiro. “Colombia’s film industry is young, unlike those of Mexico, Brazil or Argentina where filmmaking is a tradition that spans generations, so we will share resources with our counterparts, if necessary,” said Guerrero.
By having active operations in four key production markets with diverse co-production treaties and production incentives, Itaca Films/AG Studios aim to be at the forefront of Latin American production. An output deal with IM Global has been an added boon, said Guerrero, who is in talks with co-producers from the U.S., Australia and Mexico.