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Cannes: Juan Pablo Raba, of Netflix’s ‘Narcos,’ to Star in ‘I Love Zombies’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Black comedy-horror project teams Colombia's MadLove with Georgia's Alief, Zentropa Spain

Colombian thesp Juan Pablo Raba, the star of Netflix hit series “Narcos,” will topline black comedy-horror film co-production “I Love Zombies,” which teams Colombia’s MadLove with Georgia’s Alief and Zentropa Spain.

Henry Rivero (“El Comandante”) will co-direct alongside César Oropeza (“Puras joyitas”), author of both the screenplay and the popular graphic novel that inspired it. Goya Award winner Marcelo Pont Vergés (“The Secret in Their Eyes”), the comic-book illustrator, is also attached as film production designer.

The co-production partnership was confirmed at Cannes by MadLove co-founders Natalia Agudelo and Nicolás Herreño with Alief‘s Miguel Govea and Brett Walker, and David Matamoros and Angeles Hernández at Zentropa Spain.

“I Love Zombies” was selected for Ventana Sur’s Beyond The Window pitch sessions last year. The film narrates a dystopian tale of socio-political intrigue with dark humor and action, where a Central Government’s suicide expedition enters into devastated areas in what used to be a big capital city, now infested with cannibal corpses.

Two intertwined stories result from that move, showing a vice-plagued and cruel post-apocalyptic world. The first involves Kid, a young man traumatized by the death of his family at the hands of a horde of walking dead; the other features Lover, a skilled zombie hunter (Raba), whose survival techniques go beyond pragmatism to assassination.

Scheduled to roll next year, the film is opting for Colombia’s attractive fiscal incentives, which encompass cash rebates of up to 40% of production spend and 20% in logistic services.

“’I Love Zombies’ not only aims to seek an audience for its main piece, the movie, but to use multiple initiatives of interaction that try to create loyal fans,” said producer Natalia Agudelo, a former director of Bogota Audiovisual Market (BAM).

The project will next be presented at BAM, and will make the rounds of the co-production forums this fall, leading to Argentina’s Comic Con, where the graphic novel’s Vol. 1 will be re-issued, and Vol. 2 will launch.

Also at Cannes, MadLove closed with Chile’s Agosto Cine a deal to co-produce film project “The Undeniable,” by Colombian-Chilean director Nicolás Guzmán.

MadLove’s latest feature, Julia Solomonoff’s “Nobody’s Watching,” won best actor (Guillermo Pfening) at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival.

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