×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Cannes: ‘Heli’ Director Amat Escalante Preps ‘Untamed’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Mexico’s Mantarraya, France’s Le Pacte, Denmark’s Adomeit, Norway’s MER co-produce.

CANNES – Mexico’s Amat Escalante, whose “Heli” won Cannes’ 2013 best director award, is scaling up and branching out for “The Untamed” (“La region salvaje”), a social/sci fi movie about Mexico’s machismo, homophobia and the repression of women which taps the visual expertise behind Lars von Trier’s “”Melancholia” and “Nymphomaniac.”

Made on a significantly higher budget than “Heli,” “The Untamed” is scheduled to go into production in September,  Escalante said.

As on Escalante’s first three movies, “The Untamed” is lead produced by Jaime Romandia’s Mantarraya, that also produced Carlos Reygadas’ 2012 best director winner “Post Tenebras Lux.” Tapping into strong Euro co-prod backing, Jean Labadie’s Paris-based Le Pacte co-produces, as does Katrin Pors at Denmark’s Adomeit Film and Norway’s MER.

NDM, the Paris-Mexico City sales company launched by and Carlos Reygadas’ Nodream Cinema, will initiate pre-sales on “The Untamed” at Cannes. Manuel Alberto Claro, the d.p. on Lars von Trier’s “Melancholia” and “Nymphomaniac,” will serve as cinematographer. Peter Hjorth, the VFX supervisor on all Von Trier’s movies since “Dancer in the Dark,” will play a similar role on “Untamed.”

Written by Escalante, begins with a meteorite crashing into a mountain. In a nearby town on the lowlands, a young couple struggles to find themselves, with the man cheating on the woman. But they destroy each other in the process. Then something out of this world comes, changing their lives forever.

“Untamed” was inspired by a Guanajuato tabloid headline “Men Drown Little Faggot Drowned,” about men murdering a male nurse.

“Instead of putting male nurse, somebody who helped people most of his life, they put this thing. They humiliated him even in death,” Escalante commented.

Escalante’s first three movies, Un Certain Regard players “Sangre” and “The Bastards,” then Palme d’Or contender “Heli” drew despairing portraits of violence, in Mexico and the U.S. “The Untamed” reps in part a change of focus. “My films are very social, I like to use real people, real locations, dealing with situations in Mexico, because that’s what I’m close to. But here I wanted mix things up, challenge myself, to search for a larger metaphor to express my views,” Escalante explained.

“Untamed” has drawn down financing from the Copenhagen Film Fund and Norway’s Sorfund fund.

More Film

  • Noe Debre On His Directorial Debut,

    Top French Screenwriter Noe Debre Make Directorial Debut, ‘The Seventh Continent’

    This last half-decade, few French screenwriters have run up such an illustrious list of co-write credits as Noé Debré. Thomas Bedigain’s writing partner on Jacques Audiard’s Cannes Palme d’Or winner “Deephan,” Debra co-penned Bedigain’s own debut, “The Cowboys,” “Racer and the Jailbird,” by Michael Roskam, and “Le Brio,” directed by Yvan Attal. He has now [...]

  • Julien Trauman Talks Survival-Thriller Short ‘At

    Julien Trauman on Survival-Thriller Short ‘At Dawn’

    France’s Julien Trauman has never been afraid to play with genre, and in his latest short, the MyFrenchFilmFestival participant “At Dawn,” he employs aspects of psychological thriller, survival, coming-of-age and fantasy filmmaking. “At Dawn” kicks off the night before when a group of teens, one about to leave town, are imbibing heavily around a beach-side [...]

  • ‘Flowers’ Director Baptiste Petit-Gats Interview

    Baptiste Petit-Gats: ‘Editing Taught Me How to Write for Film’

    France’s Baptiste Petit-Gats is an hyphenate that keeps himself plenty busy editing, photographing, writing and directing. The bulk of his editing gigs up until now have been in documentary film work, evident in the way he shot and edited his own short film, participating in the MyFrenchFilmFestival, “Flowers.” In the film, Petit-Gats tells the heartbreaking [...]

  • Fanny Litard, Jérémy Trouilh on ‘Blue

    France’s Fanny Liatard, Jérémy Trouilh Discuss MyFFF Suburban Fable ‘Blue Dog’

    French filmmakers Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh met at university while studying political science before diverging towards separate careers. Trouilh trained in documentary filmmaking; Liatard worked on urban artistic projects in Lebanon and France. They eventually joined back up to film three shorts: “Gagarine,” a Sundance Channel Shorts Competition Jury Prize winner in 2016; “The [...]

  • MFFF: 'The Collection' Director Blanchard Readies

    'The Collection' Director Emmanuel Blanchard Readies First Feature

    Paris-born Emmanuel Blanchard studied and then taught history before becoming a documentary filmmaker responsible for films such as “Bombing War,” “Le diable de la République” and “Après la guerre.” He’s currently directing “Notre-Dame de Paris”, a 90-minute animated part-doc, part-fiction film on the building of the world-famous Paris cathedral. Competing at MyFFF, “The Collection” is [...]

  • Dragon Ball Super: Broly

    Film Review: ‘Dragon Ball Super: Broly’

    Late in “Dragon Ball Super: Broly,” the 20th Japanese anime feature in a 35-year-old franchise that also has spawned scads of TV series, trading cards, video games, mangas, and limited-edition collectibles, a supporting character complains, “I don’t understand a single thing you’ve said the whole time.” If you’re among the heretofore uninitiated drawn to this [...]

  • Loco Films Boards 'Paper Flag' From

    Loco Films Boards 'Paper Flag' From Promising New Director Nathan Ambrosioni (EXCLUSIVE)

    Loco Films has come on board “Paper Flag” (“Les Papiers de drapeaux”), the feature debut of 18-year old French director Nathan Ambrosioni. The film explores the ambivalent relationship between two siblings and the concept of freedom. Guillaume Gouix (“The Returned”) stars as a young adult who has just got out of jail after 12 years [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content