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Ventana Sur: Magma Cine Partners With Storyboard Media for Pinochet-Era Thriller ‘El Mandato’ (EXCLUSIVE)

The two companies, which have carved out a niche with thoughtful, upscale cinema, look to continue that trend with their combined expertise

BUENOS AIRES — Magma Cine’s Nathalia Videla and Juan Pablo Gugliotta along with Storyboard Media director Gabriela Sandoval announced today at Ventana Sur that the two companies have formalized an agreement to co-produce a new political thriller titled “El Mandato.”

Based on “a crucial figure in history,” according to a statement, the historical fiction drama is set over 1973-75 during the early days of the brutal rule of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, who took power in a bloody coup in 1973, the film will follow the evolution of Cardinal Raúl Silva Henríquez who flip-flops in his opposition to the dictatorship’s dirty war in supposed dissidents as he uncovers more and darker information about the fledgling government.

“Mandato” now has screenwriters attached: Paola Campos, Bernardita Olmedo y Fernando Castillo. Its producers are looking to attach a director, said Sandoval.

The production marks a partnership between two of Latin America’s on-the-rise companies. Since its 2006 inception, Magma Cine has worked on projects like last year’s “The Distinguished Citizen,” which one the Vittorio Veneto Film Festival Award for best actor (Oscar Martínez) at Venice, and the Goya Award for best Ibero-American Film. It has also helped pioneer an auteur genre cinema in Latin America, seen in its latest manifestation in “Unit 15, Jailbreak” a prison-break movie based on true historical events where the escaping inmates are political prisoners fleeing across the icy wastes of Patagonia. Directed by Martín Desalvo, “Unit 15,” proved one of the highlights at an Argentine Directors’ Assn. (PCI) promo reel showcase held on Tuesday night at Ventana Sur.

Santiago de Chile-based Storyboard Media works on three fronts: Film production, cinematic distribution and culture industry management. Sandoval is not only the director of the production company, but also co-heads one of Chile’s most important international film festivals, the Santiago Intl. Film Festival (SANFIC). The company features professionals from multiple disciplines and offers a holistic approach to film production.

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