GUADALAJARA – Underscoring the rising collaboration among Latin American filmmakers, the first Panamanian-Argentinean fiction co-production is primed to start shooting in May. Panama Meets director Arianne M. Benedetti will be making her feature debut “Mas Que Hermanos” (“Beyond Brotherhood”) with Argentina’s Magma Cine (“El Ardor”) on board to co-produce with Benedetti’s Treehouse Studios and VFX Panama.
212 Productions, Ingrid Barajas’ U.S.- based event organizer and publisher of Flaunt Magazine, also co-produces and will handle the red carpet premiere of the pic in Los Angeles. At the end of the day, “Hermanos” will boast a cast and crew from Panama, Chile, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia and the U.S., said Benedetti. Dialogue will be in both Spanish and English. “Around 90% of the above-the-line crew will be female,” noted VFX owner and senior producer Regina Barletta.
Based on her eponymously-titled bestselling novel and her own screenplay adaptation, Benedetti will draw on her experience in directing TV commercials – about 300 of them – and her expertise in working with kids to helm the drama about tween siblings whose parents die while the family is living in Panama, and get placed in separate orphanages. The 12-year old boy escapes and rescues his sister, with both opting to live on the streets rather than be separated.
Maria Conchita Alonso (“Desperate Housewives”), Argentina’s Pipo Luque (“Gato Negro”) and Roberto Duran (“Hands of Stone”) are on board while talks are still underway with Jesse Metcalfe, Edward James Olmos and Danny Trejos for key roles.
Newbies Mike Mendez y Jacquie Breebaart, selected after five days of casting, will play the roles of the siblings with Spanish acting coach Raquel Toledo flying in to work with them and the entire Panamanian cast.
Benedetti’s Treehouse Studios is also co-producing two Colombian projects: “El Sastre” with Maria Fernando Barrientos of Diafragma Films (“The Stoplight Society”) and “Estrategia de una Venganza,” the debut feature of Carlos Varela, which participated in Ventana Sur’s Blood Window.