You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Zapata, Escobar, Moreno Team for ‘Butterflies’ (EXCLUSIVE)

A big step-up for Zapata, globetrotting love drama to shoot in English

Budding Brazil-based Colombian auteur Juan Zapata (“Simone”) is teaming with Brazilian actress Daniela Escobar (“The Clone”) to produce his second feature: “Butterflies,” a love story which, in a sign of its ambition, will shoot in English in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Rio de Janeiro, Amsterdam and Munich.

Born at the 2014 Gramado Film Festival in South Brazil, where Zapata and Escobar decided to create a full-bore international production, “Butterflies” is currently initiating production and will shoot through October.

It will star Marlon Moreno, lead of “Dog Eat Dog,” whose Sundance 2008 selection effectively brought down the flag on the New Colombian Cinema, and Escobar whose credits include, of movies, “Underground Game” by Roberto Gervitz – and several Globo soap operas, such as “The Clone”, “América”, “Caribbean Flower,” aswell as the TV series, “A Casa das Sete Mulheres.” Moreno will soon be seen in Colombia’s version of Argentinean smash hit “Corazon de Leon.”

Underscoring an increasing trend in Latin America towards multilateral co-production – to pare risk, grow budgets in synch with directors’ ever-greater ambitions and make a more unequivocally international production as local production finance in the Rio Grande do Sul region decreases – “Butterflies” is produced by five companies in four countries: in Brazil, the director’s own label, Zapata Filmes, based out Rio Grande do Sul, along with investments of Linkenheim Participações Societárias; Colombia’s Ley en Movimiento; U.S. shingle BWL, which will associate produce; and Spain’s Astronauta Films.

Brazil and Paris-based Tucuman Films will serve as the distributor in Brazil.

Also written by Zapata and Escobar, “Butterflies” “shows, from a feminine point of view, how to believe again in love after intense mourning,” Zapata said.

Movie raises the bar considerably in scope and actors’ clout after Zapata’s freshman film, “Simone,” a relationship drama set in the Rio Grande do Sul region – and benefitting from local detail – which comes in at very common emotional needs from a not so common perspective.

“A story of freedom and the search for happiness,” in Zapata’s words, which was inspired in part by the life of its lead, Simone Telecchi, it borders documentary in some scenes, an increasingly common facet of movies made in Rio Grande do Sul (think “Castanha”) or, indeed, Brazil’s Pernambuco (think “August Winds”).

“Simone” turns on a lesbian, an actress, who has to decide whether to continue with her young woman lover, also a thesp, or accept a stable relationship with a doting man she’s uncertain she loves. She attempts the latter, without being able to give up her girlfriend: No love is perfect.

“Simone” was released simultaneously in five countries in 2013 and selected for multiple festivals, such as San Francisco, Mar del Plata, Tribeca, Torino and Geneva, among others.

Zapata also served as the director of the Rio Grande do Sul Film Institute.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • The Sky Is Pink

    Toronto Film Review: 'The Sky is Pink'

    Shonali Bose’s much-laureled 2014 “Margarita with a Straw” was a film whose presentation of a cerebral palsy-afflicted heroine sidestepped all the usual hand-wringing inspirational clichés of disability portrayal, making her story all the more enlightening and affecting. It is particularly disappointing, then, that the director’s followup should approach another tale of genetic infirmity with all [...]

  • Jodie Turner-SmithVariety Studio Comic-Con, Day 1,

    'Queen and Slim' Star Jodie Turner-Smith Joins Michael B. Jordan in 'Without Remorse' (EXCLUSIVE)

    After she plays the Bonnie to Daniel Kaluuya’s Clyde in Universal’s romantic thriller “Queen and Slim,” actress Jodie Turner-Smith will join Michael B. Jordan in Paramount’s adaptation of Tom Clancy’s “Without Remorse.” Turner-Smith will play Karen Greer, the daughter of CIA deputy director James Greer, who played a pivotal role in Clancy’s universe. The part [...]

  • Joe Anthony Russo

    Russo Brothers to Receive Publicists Motion Picture Showman Award

    Hollywood union publicists have selected the Russo Brothers to receive the Motion Picture Showman of the Year Award. Anthony and Joe Russo, who directed “Avengers: Endgame,” will receive the award at the 57th Annual Publicists Awards ceremony on Feb. 7 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The publicists are part of the Intl. Cinematographers Guild, IATSE [...]

  • Sylvester Stallone on Rambo's Return: A

    Sylvester Stallone on Rambo's Return: 'The Warrior Can Never Find Peace'

    Sylvester Stallone may be 73, but he’s not one to sit back in his twilight years. As his legendary body slows, his output certainly hasn’t. This Friday, “Rambo: Last Blood” hits theaters around the world – 37 years after the debut of “Rambo: First Blood.” Why bring the muscled Vietnam veteran back for a final, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content