×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Abner Benaim Rolls on Ruben Blades Doc (EXCLUSIVE)

‘Ruben Blades Is Not My Name’ co-produced by Benaim’s Apertura Films and Gema Films in Argentina

MAR DEL PLATA: Having addressed one of the best-known events in Panamanian history, Abner Benaim’s Apertura Films and Gema Juarez Allen’s Gema Films are re-teaming to produce a docu-feature about the best-known Panamanian: “Ruben Blades Is Not My Name.”

Benaim, who helmed Panama’s 2014 Oscar entry “Invasion,” also co-produced by Gema Films, about the 1989 U.S. invasion, is directing.

Turning on the multiple Grammy Award-winning salsa singer/composer, “Ruben Blades Is Not My Name” is currently shooting in New York, will then segue to Panama and other Latin American countries.

“Invasion” took a questioning stance on the competence – plus humanity – of American armed intervention in foreign lands. “Ruben Blades Is Not My Name” turns on a multi-faceted figure who wrote and performed what was then the best-selling salsa album in history, 1978’s “Siembra,” was educated at Harvard, was and is a political activist, and made a run for Panamanian president in 1994, obtaining 20% of the votes. He has enjoyed a second career as an actor, is currently playing Daniel Salazar in “Fear the Waking Dead”

“The arc of the story is still playing itself out, but it will definitely be related to the history of Latin America in the past 50 years, of which Ruben has been a witness and an active part of,” said Benaim.

“We will concentrate on his music and particularly his lyrics and their effect on those who’ve listened to them, danced to them, thought about them, and were somehow shaped by them.”

By way of its format, “Ruben Blades Is Not My Name” will include interviews with Ruben, other musicians and artists, friends and family and will use lots of incredible archive footage from concerts, daily life, politics, films and more,” Benaim added, saying that the docu-feature will also shoot Ruben Blades offstage as a man, “as someone who lives a private life also.”

“Ruben Blades Is Not My Name” is “a film full of rhythm, music and good stories -with the most remarkable characters. Ruben is a wonderful storyteller, so it will be a very entertaining and moving piece that will travel wherever there are fans of Ruben and beyond,” added Juarez Allen.

Panamanian TV station TVN is backing the docu-feature. Producers are in talks with co-producers from the U.S. and Latin America and sales agents for worldwide rights, per Benaim.

“Invasion” won both the Mastercard Central America and Caribbean Audience Award and the Best Documentary Audience Award at the 2014 Panama Festival. It also punched a record 50,000 admissions – a record for a documentary – and B.O. earnings of $217,745 in Panama. “Working again with director Abner Benaim is an enormous pleasure. He’s somebody that always delivers magnificent films that also speak to audiences,” said Juarez Allen, at Buenos Aires-based Gema Films.

Benaim and Juarez Allen won the Berlinale Co-production Market VFF Talent Highlight Pitch Award for Benaim’s upcoming fiction feature, “Biencuidao,” which Apertura, Benaim’s label, and Gema Films will also co-produce.

More Film

  • 'Avengers: Endgame' Cast Gets Hands and

    Watch Live: 'Avengers' Cast Gets Hands and Feet Cemented at TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood

    The Avengers have left an indelible mark on popular culture and now they are doing the same to the cement floor outside of the TCL Chinese Theater. Watch the livestream video of “Avengers: Endgame” cast Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans,  Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige imprinting [...]

  • Zachary Levi

    'Shazam!' Star Zachary Levi to Host 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards

    “Shazam!” star Zachary Levi will be suiting up next for the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards in June. Levi will emcee the award show on June 17 at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. Nominees will be announced in the coming weeks. Fresh off DC Comics’ latest blockbuster, Levi is no stranger to [...]

  • Steve Golin The Revenant Spotlight Producer

    'Spotlight' Director Tom McCarthy Remembers Steve Golin as 'A Warrior and a Mensch'

    It was a brutal process to get “Spotlight” made. The movie was dead at least three times before we shot it because of financing problems, studio problems, deadlines, actors’ availability and the time of year we could shoot. There were moments when Steve and I were just going at it. We’d have hilarious late-night correspondence. [...]

  • "A War Within"

    SF Studios Scoops International Sales to 'Grandpas,' 'A War Within' (EXCLUSIVE)

    SF Studios has scooped international sales rights to Santiago Requejo’s heartfelt comedy drama “Grandpas” and Kasper Torsting’s WWI-set Danish love drama “A War Within” in the run up to Cannes. Both films are third-party pickups. “Grandpas” is a high-profile Spanish movie starring Carlos Iglesias (“Crossing Borders”), Roberto Álvarez (“Talk to her”) and Ramón Barea (“Everybody [...]

  • 'Gemini Man' First Trailer Drops With

    Will Smith Faces Off Against Himself in Ang Lee's 'Gemini Man' Trailer

    Will Smith battles a familiar antagonist in the official trailer for Ang Lee’s “Gemini Man” — himself. Paramount Pictures and Skydance Media dropped dazzling new footage of the futuristic sci-fi drama, scored to a haunting version of “Forever Young,” that sees Smith playing an elite assassin. Things get tricky when he finds out the man [...]

  • Werner Herzog

    Film Constellation Boards Werner Herzog's Japanese Film 'Family Romance' (EXCLUSIVE)

    London-based sales house Film Constellation has boarded Oscar-winning director Werner Herzog’s Japanese-language narrative film “Family Romance,” which will have its world premiere in the special screenings section at the Cannes Film Festival. Written and directed by Herzog, the movie was shot last spring and summer in Tokyo and Aomori, Japan, with non-professional actors (Yuichi Ishii, [...]

  • Avengers Endgame Box Office: Can It

    'Avengers: Endgame' Expected to Shatter Box Office Records

    “Avengers: Endgame” has its sights set on world domination. Disney and Marvel’s upcoming superhero epic should light the box office on fire when it launches this weekend, with the hopes of setting domestic, international, and global records. In North America alone, “Avengers: Endgame” is expected to earn between $250 million and $268 million in its [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content