×

Argentina’s Juarez Allen, Saravia Vinay to Co-Produce Cuban Debut ‘Shock Labor’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Allen is attending IFF Panama for the screening of her Berlin-player ‘Soldier’ and the inaugural Campus Latino

Argentina’s Gema Juarez Allen, one of Latin America’s most dynamic producers, is partnering with Cuba’s María Carla del Rio (“Between the Lines”) and Uruguay’s Sandino Saravia Vinay (“Neon Bull”) to co-produce “Shock Labor,” the debut feature by Cuban director, Marcos Diaz, which has been selected for La Fabrique des Cinemas du Monde in Cannes, a project development program for young directors from emerging countries developed by the Institut Français.

“Shock” is a dark humor fantasy drama set in contemporary Cuba, about a young woman who has a miscarriage during a skeet shooting competition, and is then carried away by a tornado to a rich tourist area that transforms her life.

Diaz directed 60-minute docu “Fractal,” at the age of 17 and recently completed the short “Natural Phenomena”, which competed at Mexico’s Gudalajara Festival.

“Shock” was presented in the Berlinale Talent Market, where it won a Special Mention in the VFF Talent Highlight Award; in late March it received backing from the Tribeca Film Institute’s Latin American Fund.

Allen saw the project at Berlin and then closed the deal at the Co-Production Meeting in Guadalajara, where Vinay also came on board. The co-producers are now preparing to submit the project to Ibermedia.

“It’s a great story and such a fun way to talk about contemporary Cuba,” says Allen.

She added: “They made a short film that was totally brilliant and also a teaser which is amazing. The script is so well written. It’s really a solid project. It’s surprising that it’s a first film. It’s very fresh in terms of the language and proposed visuals. Everything is very new. You don’t get that feeling very often.”

This will be the first time that Allen will co-produce with Cuba, where the picture will be lensed. Some of the key technicians will be Argentinian, and some of the post-production will take place in Argentina.

To date, Allen has co-produced several projects with Panama, but this will be her first co-production with the Caribbean.

“In general it’s very difficult to co-produce with Central America and Caribbean because they have very little state production funding,” she explains. “In Cuba, they have some support from the national film institute, ICAIC and Ibermedia is also very important for Cuba. But it’s a challenge.”

She is attending the 6th Panama Film Festival to present her Berlin-player “Soldier,” by Manuel Abramovich, and to take part in the first edition of Campus Latino, a three-day workshop integrated within a year-long project development process spanning Panama, Mexico and Munich.

Allen says that she’s particularly interested in films from Central America and the Caribbean because many of the countries have nascent film industries – Cuba being one of the main exceptions – and offers new stories and little-known universes. One of her all-time favorite pics is the 1968 Cuban film “Memories of Underdevelopment,” by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea.

“Even though this zone has a common link to the rest of Latin America, the stories are very different and many Central American cinematographies are very new.”

Allen is also very enthusiastic about IFF Panama: “The festival treats people really well and choose a really good range of guests. There’s real buzz about this festival because it has a very well-curated small selection of films, they know what works here. It’s a good platform.”

She is currently co-producing with Panama on Abner Benaim’s documentary “Ruben Blades is Not My Name,” that also involves Benaim’s Apertura Films, Colombia’s Ciudad Lunar (“Embrace of the Serpent”), and has backing from Ibermedia, DICINE Panamá s film fund, COPA airlines and Panamanian TV station TVN.

Her other projects include docu “Veteranos,” by Lola Arias, funded by the IDFA Fund and Argentina’s INCAA film institute, and fiction film, “La Cama,” by Mónica Lairana, that is co-produced with the Netherlands (Topkapi Films), Germany (Sutor Kolonko) and Brazil (Tres Moinhos) and received support from HBF, WCF, NRW, ANCINE and INCAA.

She is also developing Manuel Abramovich’s “Blue Boy,” which will be shot in Berlin’s gay district and fiction projects by two first-time Argentinean directors – “Nora Cohen,” by Nicolas Dolensky” and “La Division Continental,” by Lucio Castro.

More Film

  • Oscar Nominations Reactions Phyllis Nagy

    Screenwriter Phyllis Nagy Runs for Writers Guild Presidency, Citing Agency Stalemate

    Oscar-nominated screenwriter Phyllis Nagy is challenging Writers Guild of America West’s incumbent president David Goodman, citing his handling of the bitter stalemate between the WGA and Hollywood agents. Nagy announced her candidacy online Monday night, a day before the deadline for filing. She made the announcement  in a private online group as part of Writers for [...]

  • Klaudia-Reynicke

    Locarno: Summertime Picks Up ‘Love Me Tender’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Rome-based Summertime Intl. has acquired international sales rights to Klaudia Reynicke’s “Love Me Tender.” The second feature from Peru-born and Switzerland-based filmmaker will receive its world premiere at the Locarno Festival in its Filmmakers of the Present competition, which focuses on first and second features. Summertime Intl. is the world sales agent, excluding and Lichtenstein [...]

  • Elsie Fisher and Bo Burnham2019 Writers

    Writers Guild Announces 2020 Awards Show Date

    The 72nd Annual Writers Guild Awards will take place in coinciding ceremonies in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton and the Edison Ballroom in New York on Feb. 1, the Writers Guild of America announced. The WGA will begin voting in November and will reveal this year’s TV nominees Dec. 5 and film Jan. 6. [...]

  • Tarantino Movies Ranked Illustration

    All of Quentin Tarantino's Movies Ranked

    In the history of cinema, has any director done more to elevate the idea of movies as cool than Quentin Tarantino? Certainly, the idea that films could be made by fans dates back at least to the French New Wave, when a group of die-hard critics stepped behind the camera. A few years later, Spielberg, [...]

  • A Stranger on the Beach

    Anonymous Content Wins Film Rights to Michele Campbell's 'A Stranger on the Beach' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Anonymous Content has won the adaptive rights to the forthcoming Michele Campbell novel “A Stranger on the Beach.” In a competitive situation, Anonymous outbid multiple players for the thriller, which it will adapt for the big screen with in-house producers Alex Goldstone and Rosalie Swedlin. “Stranger” has been likened to sensual thrillers like “Fatal Attraction” [...]

  • Ridley Scott Matt Damon Ben Affleck

    Ridley Scott, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Nicole Holofcener Team on 'The Last Duel'

    Ridley Scott looks to have his next directing job, as he has signed on to direct “The Last Duel” with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck attached to star. Damon and Affleck co-wrote the script with Oscar-nominated Nicole Holofcener. Scott, Damon and Affleck all producing along with Scott’s producing partner Kevin Walsh. Drew Vinton is also [...]

  • Jonathan Taylor Thomas Ed Asner Elliott

    Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Ed Asner, Elliott Gould Seek SAG-AFTRA Board Seats

    Ed Asner, Elliott Gould and Jonathan Taylor Thomas are seeking SAG-AFTRA national board seats as members of presidential candidate Matthew Modine’s progressive Membership First slate. Asner is the former president of the Screen Actors Guild, serving two terms from 1981 to 1985, and winning five Emmys for his role as Lou Grant and two others [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content