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Ventana Sur: Mutante Cine, Twins Latin to Co-Produce Ilan Rosenfeld’s Debut (EXCLUSIVE)

Comedy 'Abrazar a Nelfa' rolls in spring in Montevideo and Argentina's Córdoba with Mercedes Morán ('La ciénaga')

Uruguay’s Mutante Cine, a key producer on the Latin American arthouse scene, and Argentine outfit Twins Latin Films are joining forces to co-produce comedy “Abrazar a Nelfa” (Hugging Nelfa), the feature debut of Uruguayan director Ilan Rosenfeld.

Fruit of a co-production pact sealed Wednesday Nov. 29 at the Ventana Sur market, “Nelfa” is scheduled to roll by next spring on locations in the Argentine province of Cordoba and in Uruguay, including the 22 kilometer-long avenue of Rambla of Montevideo,

For Cordoba’s Twins Latin, teaming with Mutante, boost Twins’ aim of international growth via Latin American market.

Launched in 2011, the Uruguayan company teams Fernando Epstein and Agustina Chiarino, producers behind standout titles such as “25 Watts,” “Whisky,” “La Perrera,” “Acné,” “Tanta Agua” and Adrián Biniez’s 2009 Berlinale Jury Grand Prix winner “Gigante.” Mutante has just launched its film distribution arm.

As many other companies in Cordoba, Twins Latin is taking advantage of a new audiovisual law approved by the provincial government as Córdoba looks set to become one of the most vibrant and international of hubs in Latin America’s film and TV industry.

Produced by Lorena Quevedo at Twins Latin and written by Rosenfeld, “Hugging Nelfa” focuses on Ana, a 60 year-old woman who suffers from back aches from the weight of her bourgeois worries.

Hydrotherapy seems to be the recommended cure, but a bureaucratic mistake leads her to an esoteric group working with water treatments that is headed by a charismatic guru. This will plunge her into an absurd adventure of self-discovery.

Argentine actress Mercedes Morán (“Motorcycle Diaries,” “La ciénaga”) is attached to play Ana’s role.

The co-producers study the possibility of incorporating a third partner into the project, probably from Brazil, Quevedo told Variety.

“Working with Mutante is highly motivating. Agustina Chiarino and Fernando Epstein are two colleagues that I trust, not only for production, but also from a distribution viewpoint, and that today is not less important. It takes a lot of creativity to get films to find a route, a circuit,” Quevedo said.

“Hugging Nelfa’s” financing structure aims at backing from the respective Argentine and Uruguayan film institutes, INCAA and ICAU, international pre-sales and also from the Córdoba government, which has just opened a call for support to finance local and international co-productions.

A highly active production house, Twins kicked off in 2009 as an advertising producer, and two years later started to expand into film, TV and web contents, mainly developing first-features and projects by international auteurs.

It’s also boarding “Procuro olvidarte,” the next feature by Argentine Paula Markovitch, whose film debut, coming-of-age drama “The Prize,” won two Berlin Silver Bears in 2011. She recently launched “Paintings in the Dark” at Impulso Morelia.

“Procuro olvidarte,” whose script have just been selected to attend the Havana Film Festival’s Guiones Inéditos section, forms part of “La nebulosa,” a six-piece omnibus focused on the horror of Argentina’s military dictatorship that will launch as both a mini-series and six independent feature films formats.

Rolling from next week in Italy, “Venezia,” the third film by Rodrigo Guerrero (“El invierno de los raros”), is a Twins Latin’s co-production with Alfredo Federico’s Italian shingle 39Films.

Set-up at Twins Latin, and filmed in Córdoba, “Vigilia en Agosto,” the feature debut of Luis María Mercado, plays at Ventana Sur’s Films in Progress sidebar.

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