In what will be Netflix’s third original Colombian series, the streaming giant has kick-started principal photography on “Distrito Salvaje,” toplining “Narcos” star Juan Pablo Raba.
Produced by Dynamo – which provided production services to the first three seasons of Netflix’s worldwide hit “Narcos” in Colombia and is about to provide the same to Ang Lee’s Will Smith thriller “Gemini Man” – “Distrito Salvaje” is created and co-penned by Dynamo co-founder/producer Cristian Conti along with co-scribes Javier Gullón, Javier Fuentes-León y Mauricio Leyva. Cristina Umaña (“Narcos”) and Camila Sodil (“Camino a Marte”) also star.
“Distrito Salvaje” follows Jhon Jeiver, a guerrilla who escapes the jungle after the signing of the Peace Treaty meant to end the decades-old conflict in Colombia. As he struggles to reincorporate himself into society and reconnect with his family, he is drawn into a web of crime and corruption and faces the moral dilemma of having to choose which side to take.
Shooting entirely in Colombia, the 10-episode series is co-directed by Peru’s Javier Fuentes-León (“Undertow”) and Colombian helmer Carlos Moreno (“Dog Eat Dog”). Conti, Dynamo CEO Andrés Calderón, Raba, Fuentes-León and Gullón serve as executive producers.
“Distrito Salvaje” (roughly translated to “Wild District”) follows the previously announced original Netflix Colombian productions, the first one tentatively titled “Green Inferno,” executive produced by Ciro Guerra (“Embrace of the Serpent”) and based on an original idea by Dynamo partner Diego Ramirez Schrempp and Jenny Ceballos.
Netflix’s second original Colombian series is slave witch drama “Siempre Bruja” produced by Caracol TV with Dago Garcia (“El Paseo”) executive producing.
“The series starts shooting in Cartagena in May,” said co-executive producer Alejandro Toro, Caracol director of production business development, while at the 58th Cartagena Int’l Film Festival.
With Netflix growing ever more aggressive and Amazon Prime Video, Apple and other streaming services wading into Latin America, “It’s certainly a good moment for us producers as demand for premium content is high but are there enough local players and talent who can deliver this content?” asked Calderon, who was also attending the Cartagena fest, which wrapped March 5.
Caracol TV, a co-producer of Guerra’s “Embrace of the Serpent” and his much-anticipated “Pajaros de Verano,” has co-produced crime thriller “Los Fierro” with Dynamo and Pando Prods. The feature debut of rising star Pablo Gonzalez is slated for a late 2018 release. Attendees of Caracol TV’s annual party at the Cartagena Film Festival were treated to a sneak peek of a “Pajaros de Verano” teaser.
Meanwhile, Dynamo’s production service unit is increasingly busy, having recently worked with Peter Berg’s Mark Wahlberg actioner “Mile 22.” Lee’s “Gemini Man,” which began production in Georgia, Atlanta in February, is slated to shoot in Cartagena in the summer.