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LIMA – Filmmaking partners Mariana Rondon and Marite Ugas, whose “Pelo Malo” won Sebastian’s Golden Seashell and was one of sales agent FiGa Films bestselling titles ever, are prepping their next feature, “Contactado,” in Peru.

The duo have moved to Lima, partly because of the economic-political crisis in Venezuela, but also for the drama they plan to shoot in deserts outside of Lima.

Ugas, who is Peruvian, will take the directing reins this time round; Rondon, a Venezuelan, will produce. In their last pic,”Pelo Malo,” Rondon directed while Ugas produced. Plans include shooting by Venezuela’s Lake Maracaibo, renowned for the constant lightning storms over the mouth of the Catatumbo river, which empties into the lake. The area attracts a number of sects who are lured by the otherworldly phenomenon, Rondon said.

The partners’ shingle Sudaca Films and DP Micaela Cajahuaringa’s Imagen Latina of Peru will co-produce the drama which centers on false prophets and religious cults in Latin America.

Rondon and Ugas co-penned the screenplay about a false prophet who comes across a younger version of himself, and the power struggle that ensues. They credit being able to effectively polish their script to their nearly two-month stay last spring at the oldest artists’ colony in the U.S., the MacDowell Colony, where they were invited to experience an internet-free environment that allowed for uninterrupted work and interactions with exceptional artists from all fields.

“Contactado” (officially translated to “Contactee”) was among six out of 67 fiction feature applicants to recently win coin from Peru’s film fund, managed by the Ministry of Culture’s audiovisual division. Armed with $150,000 from this annual fund, as well as backing from Ibermedia, a regional co-production fund, they have covered about half their budget of some $600,000. “Getting the next half will be a challenge,” said Ugas, who hopes to reel in other co-producers.