×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Gaston Pavlovich Makes a Name for Himself With ‘The Irishman’

The biggest star of this year’s Cannes Film Festival isn’t Ryan Gosling, Kristen Stewart, Steven Spielberg or any of the other A-listers who have navigated the lights outside the Palais. It’s an obscure Mexican financier named Gaston Pavlovich who managed to pull Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” out of turnaround and then hammer out a $50 million deal for its foreign rights to STX Entertainment.

In an industry with an insatiable thirst for money, the well-heeled Pavlovich not only can fund Scorsese’s passion projects, but he also is able to cobble together a global financing strategy for films that studios might think are too risky. The script for “The Irishman” has been circulating since at least 2009, sources say, but even though it boasts a top-shelf cast that includes Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, its $100 million budget made some potential backers wary. Likewise, “Silence,” the $50 million religious drama that Scorsese will bring out in time for Oscar season this year, couldn’t get a greenlight until Pavlovich wrote a check.

In both cases, Pavlovich was the facilitator. Ironically, despite making the biggest stir at Cannes, prompting a fierce bidding war between the likes of IM Global, Universal, Bloom and Lionsgate, Pavlovich never even made it to the Croisette. He was not on hand in France, as negotiations dragged into the wee hours of Saturday night.

Pavlovich is a relative newcomer to the business. He only produced his first film three years ago — his initial credit came as he established his company, Fabrica de Cine. And though he comes from a well-connected family — his cousin, Claudia Pavlovich Arellano, became the first woman elected as governor of Sonora in 2015 — remains little-known even in his native Mexico.

Pavlovich did not respond to requests for comment. However, those who know him say that he is a man of sincere and deep religious convictions. In one act of philanthropy, he sponsored the life-jacket sculpture at the Berlinale’s 2016 Cinema for Peace initiative.

He also is a true cinephile. One industry insider described Pavlovich as “entrepreneurial, with a genuine love of cinema” and a person with “conservative values.”

But his profile is rising. Alonso Aguilar Castillo, director of the Los Cabos festival, said, “Gaston Pavlovich is quickly becoming one of Mexico’s most active film players.”

He was introduced to Martin Scorsese by WME Global in 2014. His major contribution to getting “Silence” into production was his ability to clear a chain of title. The rights to the story of Jesuit priests in Japan had been entangled for some 26 years. Over that time, it went through multiple iterations as Scorsese tried to get it off the ground with multiple casts.

That persistence was also on display as Pavlovich negotiated with Paramount chiefs to pull “The Irishman” out of turnaround for over a month. The talks dragged on so long and the negotiations were so intricate that some potential buyers doubted that “The Irishman” would ever hit the market in time for bidding to take place.

More Film

  • Octavia Spencer Bryce Dallas Howard

    Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard to Reunite for Comedy 'Fairy Tale Ending'

    Octavia Spencer and Bryce Dallas Howard will reunite for the ensemble comedy “Fairy Tale Ending.” Jim Hecht (“Ice Age: The Meltdown) and Tracy McMillan (“Marvel’s Runaways”) are writing the screenplay. Howard will also produce the Universal movie through her Nine Muses Entertainment alongside Eric Carlson and Susan Carlson. Seth MacFarlane and Erica Huggins will produce [...]

  • Robert Smith, Longtime Executive at DuArt

    Robert Smith, Longtime Executive at New York's DuArt Film Labs, Dies at 88

    Robert Smith, a longtime executive with New York’s DuArt Film Labs, died Jan. 11 in Montvale, N.J. He was 88. Smith spent some 62 years with DuArt, the film processing and post-production facility founded in 1922 in the penthouse of an automobile garage in Midtown. Smith rose to president of DuArt before retiring in 2015. [...]

  • Bird Box

    Los Angeles On-Location Feature Filming Surges 12.2% in 2018

    On-location feature filming in Greater Los Angeles expanded impressively in 2018, gaining 12.2% to 4,377 shooting days, according to FilmL.A. Production activity for feature films rose 15.5% to 1,078 shooting days during the fourth quarter, with 146 days coming from projects receiving California tax credits — including Netflix’s “Bird Box,” Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a [...]

  • 'Ghostbusters': First Look at Jason Reitman's

    Watch the First Teaser for Jason Reitman's 'Ghostbusters' Sequel

    If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, it’s time to watch a teaser for Jason Reitman’s “Ghostbusters” forthcoming film. Sony Pictures released a first look at the upcoming movie, a sequel to the 1984 classic. The footage shows a glimpse of the memorable station wagon Ecto-1. The studio announced on Tuesday that the wheels are [...]

  • Anne Hathaway

    Anne Hathaway to Star in Robert Zemeckis' 'The Witches' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Anne Hathaway has closed a deal to star as the Grand High Witch in Robert Zemeckis and Warner Bros.’ “The Witches” adaptation. Variety first reported that Hathaway was holding the offer for both that and “Sesame Street,” and at the time, scheduling for both films were holding up dealmaking. With those issues settled, Hathaway is [...]

  • Film Ratings Overhauled in the U.K.,

    Film Ratings Overhauled in the U.K. With Tougher Restrictions on Sexual Content

    The body that oversees film ratings in the U.K. is tightening its age restrictions and giving movies with certain types of sexual content older age ratings. The British Board of Film Classification said the changes were in response to public demand after a consultation that took in the views of over 10,000 people in the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content