An Argentine A-list cast of Dolores Fonzi (“Paulina”), Esteban Lamothe (“The Student”) and Julieta Zylberberg (“My Friend From the Park”) is slated to star in “El diablo blanco” (The White Devil), converting the project into one of the highest-profile genre offerings coming down the pike in Latin America.
Juan Pablo Gugliotta, co-founder of Buenos Aires’ Magma Cine, a pioneer in pan-Latin American co-production and auteur genre movies, will introduce the horror movie to potential co-production partners and sales agents at next week’s Bogota Audiovisual Market (BAM).
The screenplay allows the involvement of one or two actors from outside Argentina, Gugliotta said.
The feature debut of Ignacio Rogers, a theater actor-turned-filmmaker who is writing the screenplay, “The White Devil” kicks off with three male friends going off camping in the mountains. They meet three girls and immediately hit it off. Romance flowers as they decide to continue the trip together. One of them, Fernando, has a strange encounter with a mysterious man and suffers premonitory dreams of this man killing people, after which a once-carefree holiday trip turns into a ghastly nightmare.
“The White Devil” has its origins in classic American horror, but at least two factors set it apart, said Gugliotta. One is the presence of “deep Latin American roots, Argentine indigenous myths and legends.”
“The White Devil’s” friends are also not teens but adults in their mid-to-late-thirties, one a divorcee, another about to inherit local land, and two of the women qualified anthropologists, searching for traces of the mountains’ original indigenous settlers.
About 60% of “The White Devil’s” budget is covered between Magma Cine’s own financing and subsidy from Argentina’s Incaa film board, Gugliotta said.
Fonzi, Lamothe and Zylberberg have all broken through to international recognition this decade. Fonzi toplined Santiago Mitre’s “Paulina,” which won the Cannes Critics’ Week Grand Prize last year; Lamothe was the star of Mitre’s debut, “The Student.” Zylberberg co-starred in Anna Katz’s “My Friend From the Park,” a Sundance 2016 best screenplay winner.
“The White Devil” is scheduled to shoot in the first quarter of 2017, during Argentina’s summer.
Magma Cine broke through to international recognition lead-producing Pablo Fendrik’s “El Ardor,” a revisionist Amazon Western with Gael Garcia Bernal and Alice Braga, which was backed by Jeff Skoll’s Participant Media and co-produced by Argentina’s Aleph Media, Telefe-Telefonica Studios, Mexico’s Canana Films, Brazil’s Bananeira Filmes and France’s Manny Films. Lionsgate Distribution handled an 11 major-U.S.-market theatrical release in 2015.
Magma Cine is now co-producing big-city choral drama “A Voz do Silencio,” from Andre Ristum (“Meu Pais”), and “Mas que hermanos,” directed by Panama’s Arianne Benedetti, based on her bestselling novel, the story of two orphaned tween siblings who prefer living together on the streets to separation in different orphanages.
“We’re interested in genre movies which have their own personality. Co-production with the rest of Latin America gives a film higher production values and more market potential,” Gugliotta said.