SAN SEBASTIAN – In a sign of the production’s multi-territory attraction, Spanish director Isabel Coixet and Los Angeles-based LA Panda have both boarded Julia Solomonoff’s “Nobody’s Watching” (Nadie nos mira”), a novel New York take on the emotional joy and trials of immigration.
Miss Wasabi Films, the Spain-based production company of Coixet (“My Life Without Me,” “The Secret Life of Words”) whose “Nobody Wants the Night” opened the 2015 Berlin Festival., will co-produce.
LA Panda has jumped into the project as a U.S. partner for physical production and to arrange New York tax incentives, as well as aid executive production related to seeking international sales, said LA Panda’s Pau Brunet.
Coixet and LA Panda complete a production structure which, increasingly typically for higher-profile films by Latin American filmmakers – Solomonoff is Argentine but based out of New York – as they seek to complete financing on a budget they desire, limit market exposure, hike distribution probabilities and bring in creative collaborations – above-the-line and producers – which will enrich a film’s title.
Lead-produced by Solomonoff and Felicitas Raffo at Buenos Aires’ Cepa Audiovisual, “Nobody is Watching” is produced by CEPA Audiovisual with Travesia Producciones (Argentina), MadLove (Colombia), Taiga Films (Brazil) and LA Panda (U.S.) and Aleph Media (U.S.). Elisa Lleras produces for LA Panda.
Miss Wasabi (Spain), Perdomo Productions Inc. (Dominican Republic) and Bogdam Apetri co-produce. “Nobody’s Watching” has tapped state funding from INCAA (Argentina), Ibero-American film aid fund Ibermedia Fund and Proimagenes (Colombia).
“We couldn’t be more happy. With the production management skills and the market know-how of La Panda, and the production experience of Miss Wasabi, we knew ‘Nobody’s Watching’ was making a gigantic leap forward to become a stronger project for the international market,” said Raffo.
Multi-lateral co-production in Latin America is increasingly common as producers seek to build a pan-regional industry where movies are seen outside their country of origin, some countries have created bilateral co-production funds and Brazil, in an enlightened move, even has state funding earmarked for production companies to become minority partners on international movies.
“Nobody’s Watching” is certainly a film that can expect to play internationally. Marking Solomonoff’s follow-up to “Sisters” and “The Summer of la Boyita,” the part-English, part Spanish-language “Nobody’s Watching” turns on Nico (Argentine actor Guillermo Pfening, “The German Doctor,” “Boyita”) a TV actor that came to New York to play a lead role in a film, but when the film gets postponed, ends up juggling odd jobs and working as a “manny”. His good looks help him navigate a world of privilege, but his life is precarious. The baby he cares for becomes his only emotional anchor.
“’Nobody’s Watching’ explores issues of immigration and rootlessness from a personal perspective, contrasting experiences of assimilation, affirmation, and loss of cultural identity, in search for belonging,” Solomonoff said.
She added: “The film examines an immigrant experience that doesn’t often land on the screen: the unexpected gains that “failure” can provide and the realization that actual success lies in the journey of self-discovery.”
“Nobody’s Watching” has just shot some New York Summer exteriors and is getting ready for Fall and Winter scenes, finish production in Buenos Aires in December, at the near height of Argentina’s Summer, using the contrast of New York Winter and Buenos Aires Summer for dramatic impact.
“It’s quite exciting and a very different approach: Some days we are editing in the morning and casting in the evening…It feels very organic, flexible and alive and I am so grateful to have a production team that understands that this is what is right for this story,” Solomonoff commented.