U.K. helmer Peter Webber, renowned for his Oscar-nominated “The Girl with a Pearl Earring,” is prepping his first Spanish-language pic in Colombia. Tentatively titled “Carteristas” (“Pickpockets”), the drama set in the capital of Bogota, tracks a 16-year old street urchin who, together with two pals, learns the art of pickpocketing from a master in the sleight of hand. Spain’s Carlos Bardem (“Escobar: Paradise Lost”) plays mentor to the 16-year old played by newcomer Emiliano Pernia, the son of Colombian actress Marcela Mar (“Love in the Time of Cholera”) who appears as his onscreen mother. Natalia Reyes (“La Vendedora de Rosas”) and theatre actor Duban Prado complete the triad of friends.
Principal photography kicks off Sunday Oct. 23 in Bogota with Colombian filmmakers Diana Rico and Richard Decaillet serving as associate directors.
“They will be Peter’s cultural translators,” said the pic’s producer Gael Nouaille of Full House. “Bogota is a vibrant and intense city which is currently booming; some compare its newfound energy to Brooklyn in the 80s,” he said.
“Richard and Diana are artists and have a unique connection with Bogota’s street scene and Colombian culture. As such they will act as cultural and creative consultants for Peter to ensure the local details are accurate,” Nouaille added noting that a few years ago, the three had spent a month in the Amazon making a documentary.
“I’ve been visiting Colombia regularly for over a decade, and have shot some documentary material here,” said Webber. “The chance to make a feature film set in Bogota, one of the world’s most gritty and cinematic cities, is very exciting,” he added. Fluent in Spanish, Webber has previously worked in Japanese and Arabic.
Diego Ramirez’s 64-A Films, which has worked on “Blunt Force Trauma,” among others, will provide local production services. “Carteristas” has received the support of the Colombian Film Commission and will benefit from the cash rebate program defined by Law 1556, which grants a cash rebate of 40% for cinematographic services and 20% for logistic expenditures to international feature films.
Paris-based Full House is a production label set up in 2009 by Borsalino Productions and Maneki Films. It focuses on director-driven films from around the world and has a long-standing experience with Latin America where it has produced or co-produced such films as omnibus pic “7 days in Havana,” Laurent Cantet’s “Back to Ithaca,” Pablo Trapero’s “Elefante Blanco” and Santiago Mitre’s “Paulina,” all of which premiered in either Cannes or Venice. Full House’s latest production is Eva Husson’s “Bang Gang, une histoire d’amour moderne,” which had its world premiere in Toronto.
Independently from their common label Full House, partners Borsalino Prods. and Maneki Films have each produced separate projects in Latin America. Borsalino Productions has just wrapped the production of a premium web series for Studio Plus titled “Blanca.” Shot in Colombia, the series is directed by Carlos Moreno and is comprised of 10 episodes of 10 minutes each. Maneki Films is currently co-producing Mitre’s latest pic “The Summit.”