LOS CABOS, Mexico — In a newly expansive move for a vigorous Mexican movie industry, Machete Producciones founder Edher Campos and producer Gabriela Maire are launching a new production house, Zafiro Cinema.
Based out of Mexico City, Zafiro will look to co-produce titles from territories currently underserved by state film funding and industry infrastructure, such as Bolivia – Maire’s home country – Paraguay and Central America.
Zafiro’s launch obeys a major net of globalized film production: Talent can come from anywhere. Think Guatemala’s Jayro Bustamante, a recent Berlinale Alfredo Bauer winner with “Ixcanul,” sold voluminously by The Film Factory.
But talent often does emerge in the world’s less privileged territories, in film terms, often because of not only a lack of funding but producer facilitators linking talent to further funds, festival exposure and sales agents.
Zafiro Cinema’s most immediate focus will be Bolivia, where Maire has multiple contacts.
“Bolivia has stories that everyone would like to know, a different culture, although people are also very similar, and some large talents,” Campos said at Los Cabos, citing Juan Carlos Valdivia (“Amrican Visa,” “Yvy Maraey”).
Co-producing Latin American movies aids their access to Ibermedia pan-regional funding, he added. The country’s recent announced public-sector incentives for film production ate highly welcome though purely coincidental with Zafiro Cinema’s launch, Campos clarified.
Zafiro’s emerging cinema focus also takes in “projects which have the most difficulties in getting developed. We want to tell necessary human stories allowing spectators to reflect and know about other realities. which can at the same time be universal.”
Here, Campos added, Zafiro won’t concentrate on just Latin American projects but team with directors and writers outside the region.
Machete Producciones hit the ground running, producing “Leap Year,” a standout at 2009’s Ventana Sur and Cannes 2010 Camera d’Or winner for best first feature, Diego Quemada-Díez’s Cannes Un Certain Regard winner La Jaula de Oro,” and Juan Andrés Arango’s “V500,” produced with Peripheria and Colombia’s Séptima Films.
Working with various production companies, Maire’s producer credits include, precisely, Valdivia’s 2009 title “Southern District, Alejandro Márquez’s Toronto Platform entry “The Good Girls” and “Chivas.”