×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Femme-Power Drives Ecuadorian Gabriela Calvache’s Feature Debut ‘La Mala Noche’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Movie is co-produced by Geminiano Pineda of Mexico’s Cine Canibal

Seeking to redress the paucity of women playing key roles in the film industry, Gabriela Calvache deliberately sought out women to fill department head positions in her feature debut, “La Mala Noche” (“The Longest Night”). 

As a result, 80% of her crew are made up of women. Most of them are from Ecuador with the exception of her DoP, Gris Jordana, who hails from Spain. She also did not discriminate against age, with at least two of her key department heads over 65 years old.

“La Mala Noche” deals with the real-world issues of human trafficking and the mafia which preys on the victims, oftentimes children, of natural disasters in Latin America. Drama centers on a prostitute in her forties who struggles to pay off a debt in order to reunite with her daughter in Colombia.

Calvache’s deep experience in docu filmmaking called for rigorous research in the prevalent issues at the core of her film. To prep in the direction of actors, she took several acting classes herself, and rehearsed for a month with her cast, most of them theatre actors. 

“Shooting the film itself was a breeze compared to its pre-production,” she said.

A co-production between Calvache’s Cineatica Films and Geminiano Pineda’s Cine Canibal of Mexico, “La Mala Noche,” based on Calvache’s screenplay, recently wrapped principal photography in Ecuador. Pineda is in Cannes to seek a French co-producer to help in the financing of its post- production aside from acquiring titles for Canibal’s distribution arm.

Pineda just picked up Mexican distribution rights and Latin American PayTV/VOD rights to Cannes 2017 official competition entry, Robin Campillo’s aids drama “BPM (Beats per Minute)” from Films Distribution.

“I think we have gained the confidence of Mexican audiences in the Cine Canibal brand, which has focused on releasing films from Cannes, Toronto and riskier auteur titles like “Tangerine” or “Swiss Army Man,” said Pineda. The five-year old production-distribution company releases an average of 10-12 pics a year.  

Canibal is about to release “It Comes at Night” by Trey Edward Shults, in Mexico and recently picked up “The Night Eats the World” (“Le nuit a Devore le Monde”) by Dominique Rocher, currently in post.

Other Canibal releases include “Grave” by Julia Ducournau, “Ken Loach’s “Personal Shopper” and his 2016 Cannes Palme d’Or-winning drama, “I, Daniel Blake.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • She Monkeys

    LevelK Boards International Sales on Lisa Aschan's 'Call Mom!' (EXCLUSIVE)

    LevelK has acquired international sales rights to Lisa Aschan’s new film “Call Mom!”, a sequel to her well-received feature debut, “She Monkeys.” Produced by Anna-Maria Kantarius (“Amateurs”) at Garagefilm Intl., “Call Mom!” follows Niki, a 35-year-old who lives like she’s 25 and is forced to come to grips with all of her relationships and past [...]

  • The Spokeswoman

    Mexico’s Luciana Kaplan on Indigenous Candidate Doc ‘The Spokeswoman’

    In 2017, Luciana Kaplan’s globe-spanning documentary feature “Rush Hour” was selected as the best in competition at that year’s Morelia Intl. Film Festival – only one of many such plaudits for the film – and the director returned to the festival Impulso section for pix-in-post with her next latest, “The Spokeswoman,” taking three of the [...]

  • Ella Balinska, Kristen Stewart and Naomi

    China Box Office: 'Charlie's Angels' Kept Earthbound by Local Romcom

    The new “Charlie’s Angels” reboot was no match for a local romantic comedy or a 20-year-old Giuseppe Tornatore film at the Chinese box office, bringing in just $7.6 million in its debut weekend, according to figures from consultancy Artisan Gateway. Directed by Elizabeth Banks and starring Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska, the film [...]

  • Climbing Blind

    ‘Climbing Blind’ Snares Kendal Mountain Festival Grand Prize

    KENDAL    “Climbing Blind,” from Alastair Lee, took the Grand Prize at the 2019 Kendal Mountain Festival on Saturday. Detailing the ascent of a vertical rock pillar, the film revealed how a blind mountaineer led the climb, assisted only by a sight-partner a rope length below. The film had particular significance for a British audience, [...]

  • Jon Voight'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' film

    President Trump to Award Jon Voight the National Medal of Arts

    President Trump will present actor Jon Voight, musician Allison Krauss, and mystery writer James Patterson with the national medal of arts. Voight is one of few in Hollywood who has been vocal about his support of President Trump in the past, calling him “the greatest president of this century.” The White House announced four recipients [...]

  • Zack Snyder arrives at the 2018

    'Justice League': Gal Gadot, Ben Affleck, Zack Snyder Support Release of 'Snyder Cut'

    Zack Snyder, Gal Gadot, and Ben Affleck have taken to social media to request that Warner Bros. release the Snyder cut of “Justice League.” Snyder, who helmed “Man of Steel” and “Batman v Superman” and was “Justice League’s” original director, had to leave production on the film partway through after his daughter died, with Joss [...]

  • Whose Side Is 'Marriage Story' On?

    Whose Side Is 'Marriage Story' On? (Column)

    Do we choose sides when we watch “Marriage Story,” Noah Baumbach’s brilliant and wrenching drama of divorce? The question, on the face of it, sounds facile in a dozen ways the movie isn’t. Rarely are there winners in divorce, and there are two sides to every breakup. “Marriage Story” is a movie that reflects that [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content