K & S Films, Matanza, El Deseo, Fox, Telefe Team on Pablo Trapero’s ‘The Clan’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Next from “Lion’s Den,” “White Elephant” director, "The Clan" weighs in as one of Argentina’s most anticipated titles of 2015

BUENOS AIRES — Argentina’s K & S Films and Matanza Cine, Pedro and Agustin Almodovar’s El Deseo, Fox Intl. Productions (FIP) and Argentine broadcaster Telefe are teaming to finance and produce one of the most awaited of upcoming titles from Latin America: Pablo Trapero’s next film, “The Clan.”

20th Century Fox will distribute “The Clan” in Latin America.

Now shooting in a leafy, affluent northern suburb of Buenos Aires, “The Clan,” a ‘80s-set, noir thriller with elements of melodrama, centers on the celebrated real-life case of Argentina’s Clan Puccio, a well-off Buenos Aires family that kidnapped people from their neighborhood or nearby rugby club, collected ransoms and then murdered the victims in order to avoid detection.

Copying methods used by Argentine’s Junta military dictatorship during its Dirty War, the Puccio, whose son played rugby for Argentina’s Pumas, effectively privatized murder, turning it into a business. As a front, the father ran a windsurfing shop.

“When the Puccio were finally arrested, many people said they must be innocent, because their social class simply didn’t commit this type of crime,” Trapero recounted.

Guillermo Francella (“The Secret in Their Eyes,” “Corazon de Leon”), one of Argentina’s strongest marquee draws, stars as family patriarch Arquimedes Puccio, who committed the murders; Peter Lanzani (“Casi Angeles”), his rugby star son.

Film’s action takes in four murders, from 1982 to 1985, during two years of dictatorship and two years of democracy, Trapero said on the set of “The Clan” Thursday.

“The Clan” is a film that Trapero has wanted to make for a long time: Variety announced some details in late 2012, when Trapero was set to direct his English-language debut, “Six Suspects,” now on hold.

“This is a behind-the-scenes portrait of the Argentine society of the ‘80s, which unfortunately has a lot in common with Argentina’s society of today, its double morality, the hypocrisy of many people,” Trapero said.

A demystification of the bourgeoisie, “The Clan” is also influenced by “one of my favorite directors and masters: Luis Buñuel.”

Trapero added: “It’s also a vision of politics, not state politics, but intimate politics, how the Pucci moved, their links with power, and a film about suffering, absences, which has a larger resonance than just that of the victims of the Puccio.”

Twinning the cachet of Trapero — whose films can both compete at Cannes and punch seven-figure grosses outside his native Argentina — with the producers of Damian Szifron’s “Wild Tales,” K & S and El Deseo, the prestige of the Almodovars, the muscle of 20Th Century Fox and the backing in Argentina of Telefe, which also co-produced “Wild Tales,” “The Clan” looks like one of the highest-profile Argentine movies of 2015.

With three weeks left to shoot, Trapero said he would attempt to have it ready by May 2015, the date of the next Cannes Festival, where “Lion’s Den” played in Competition, “The White Elephant” in Un Certain Regard and Trapero served this year as the president of Un Certain Regard.

The producer of Ricardo Darin starrer “7th Floor,” K & S’s Hugo Sigman and Matias Mosteirin have leapt to large prominence lead producing Damian Szifron’s “Wild Tales,” the highest-grossing Argentine film ever on its home turf. It was co-produced with Pedro and Agustin Almodovar and Ester Garcia at Madrid’s El Deseo.

“We could not be prouder or more excited to be one of the producers of ‘The Clan,’ said K & S’s Mosteirin. “Pablo Trapero is one of the strongest voices in not only Argentine but international cinema. This is a film packed with tension and with a splendid cast.”

“The Clan” also reps the second high-profile link-up for Fox and K & S after the announcement this week that 20th Century Fox, in association with FIP, has acquired distribution rights for the U.S., Latin America and Spain to Daniel Calparsoro’s heist thriller “No Crook, No Crime,” produced out of Argentina by K & S Films.

Producing Trapero’s films and those from other Argentine directors, Matanza Cine is Trapero’s own label.

“K & S and Matanza “have been talking for years about co-producing together,” Trapero said. Their co-production “make for a larger budget and means we share production responsibilities and the adventure of making the film.”

Part of Telefonica Studios’ drive, powered by Axel Kuschevatzky, into top-notch Argentina titles, Telefe co-produced “Wild Tales,” as well as “Foosball” and “The Secret of the Eyes.”

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