SANTIAGO DE CHILE — Chilean helmer-scribe Roberto Doveris (“Plants”) is producing “The Prince,” the directorial debut of veteran art director Sebastián Muñoz, with a prestige cast headlined by Chile’s Alfredo Castro (“Tony Manero,” “From Afar”) and Argentina’s Gaston Pauls (“Nine Queens”).
“The Prince” is slated to start shooting in February. It will also be the first time Doveris lead produces a film. He is currently preparing his second directorial outing, “The Sequel.”
Muñoz’s multiple art director credits include Alicia Scherson’s “Il Futuro” and her seminal feature debut “Play,” as well as Cristian Jimenez’s “Optical Illusions” and Pablo Larrain’s HBO Latin America TV series “Profugos.”
Chile’s Marianne Mayer-Beckh of El Otro Film (“Rara”) and Nicolas Grosso of Le Tiro Films (“Rara,” “La Visita”) in Argentina, have also boarded the drama as co-producers. Castro and Pauls lead a cast that includes newcomer Juan Carlos Maldonado who plays the ‘Prince’ and dozens of extras at a penitentiary center.
Principal photography will take place in an abandoned jail on the outskirts of Santiago on a $400,000 budget.
Based on the little-known, eponymous novel by Mario Cruz and adapted to the screen by playwright-theatre director-actor Luis Barrales, “The Prince” is a coming-of-age gay prison drama set in the 1970s where a young man, jailed for killing a friend, takes up with a charismatic fellow-prisoner and discovers his true sexual identity and the home he never had outside the prison walls.
Doveris’ next film, “The Sequel,” based on his own screenplay, will likely shoot in late 2018. A co-production between “Plants” producer Rocio Romero of Mimbre Prods., Ricardo Cantor of Bosque Neon, Colombia and Argentina’s Natalia de la Vega of La Pata de Juana, “The Sequel” is inspired by the personal love story of German actress Nike Maria Vassil who will play her fictitious self in the movie-within-a-movie genre hybrid.
“I was flying back from a film festival in Korea with her and we had more than 30 hours for her to tell me her life story,” said Doveris.
“I’ve always been interested in the combination of genres, where I start with one genre and it morphs or leads into another,” he said, adding that in “Plants,” the lead character reads a horror comic book and its tone eventually seeps into the story.”
In “The Sequel,” a 50-year old German actress played by Vassil reunites with an old flame after 30 years to take part in the sequel of his horror film in Chile. Eventually, “the stories of horror and romance merge.”