LOS CABOS, Mexico – On the cusp of the closing ceremony of the 6th Los Cabos Film Festival, Canadian indie production shingle Media Darling and leading Mexican post-production house Chemistry sealed a partnership pact aimed at the latter’s expansion into Canada.
The new accord comes on the heels of a new co-development pact inked by Mexico’s Imcine public sector film-TV agency and Canada’s Media Fund for film, TV and digital-first shows at Los Cabos.
The future launch of Chemistry’s Canadian-based arm by late 2018 marks the formalization of a relationship that begun at Los Cabos in 2014 between Media Darling founder Amy Darling and Chemistry CEO Andrés Martínez-Ríos.
Both parties have a long history with the festival. Producer Darling presented the Latin American premiere of Norwegian-language Canadian drama “Violent” in 2014, and in 2015 presented that same filmmaking team’s sophomore effort “I’m Not A Bad Person” in Cabos Discovery, the competitive forum for projects in development.
Chemistry has participated in more than a dozen films that have screened at the festival, including three this year: Jorge Leyva’s “Mis Demonios Nunca Juraron Soledad,” Daniel Graham’s Willem Dafoe- starrer “Opus Zero,” and Humberto Hinojosa’s “Camino A Martes,” winner of the Cinemex Audience Award.
Chemistry first sponsored a prize in Los Cabos in 2015. This year, the company awarded the Chemistry Prize, worth $16,000 ($300,000.00 MXN) in services to a TV series in development, to Colombia’s “Penumbra” by Pablo Barrera and Diego Ramírez Schrempp.
Chemistry’s numerous credits include such notable films as Cannes Camera d’ Or winner “Año Bisiesto” and Alonso Ruizpalacios’ breakout hit “Gueros,” which dominated Mexico’s Ariel Awards in 2014. Their upcoming projects include an undisclosed large-scale MGM Telemundo production for Netflix, and various films with Mexico’s Leonardo Zimbrón (“Club of Crows,” “The Noble Family”), slated for release in 2018.
“We have been a proud pioneer of digital cinema in Mexico, and an active collaborator with our diverse clients at home and abroad, and now we are looking forward to the creation of an office that will enable us to collaborate more closely with an even wider array of international partners,” said Martinez-Rios.
“The Los Cabos Film Festival was my introduction to the incredible Mexican film industry. Coming in contact with this country’s amazing storytellers and wealth of post-production expertise quickly changed the path of my career,” said Darling. “At this point the majority of my projects are being co-developed with Mexico. Having focused on development, financing, and festival strategy, I am thrilled to widen the scope of my activities with this enhanced ability to support emerging and midcareer filmmakers from end to end,” she added.
Both cited various initiatives by the Canadian and Mexican governments as pivotal in creating favorable conditions for this type of international cooperation.
To celebrate the newly minted partnership, Chemistry awarded a separate festival prize outside of the Gabriel Figueroa Film Fund competition, $16,000 in services to docu series “El Metate,” jointly selected by Martínez-Ríos and Darling.
Described as an exploration of “the roots, customs, traditions, motivations and emotions that are the foundations and spirit of Mexican cuisine and culture,” the winning docu-series is currently in development at the emerging Guanajuato-based outfit Lanzando Lazaros.