LOS CABOS, Mexico — Paula Amor, the former head of communications of Mexico’s Morelia Festival, now has one of the most exciting jobs in Mexico, running La Corriente del Golfo, the new film-TV production shingle launched by Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna in April.
An inevitable major production force, it also marks a pivot in a film-TV company’s range and focus of operations.
At Canana, Luna and García Bernal leveraged their fame as actors to ensure movies got made at a budgetary level which their directors required. Think Pablo Larraín’s “No.” García Bernal once remarked that launching Ambulante, the touring documentary festival, was one of his proudest achievements. They have now applied this leverage in a different sphere with the launch of “El Día Después”(“The Day After.”)
“The idea is to provide a base for their projects in film, TV, theater, projects with a social impact,” she explained to Variety during a chat at the Los Cabos Festival. “With the elections we launched The Day After, headed by Diego. It was an initiative calling for conciliation and empathy with whoever ended up winning.”
“It’s as if nobody listens to anybody,” Luna said at the time.
La Corriente del Golfo hit the ground running in April producing the then-just-announced “Aquí en al tierra” (Here on Earth) with Fox Networks Group Latin America, a corrosive, ground-breaking family drama-thriller showrun by García Bernal and Kyzza Terrazas drilling down on the corruption, connivance, back-stabbing, power plays, ambitions and mind-boggling wealth of Mexico’s ruling class. It proved one of the best-regarded of dramas at the first Canneseries.
La Corriente is also in post on García Bernal’s second feature as a director, “Chicuarotes,” penned by Augusto Mendoza – who also wrote Luna’s “Mr. Pig and “Abel” – and a chronicle of two teens from Mexico City who end up embroiled in the criminal underworld.
At her new employ, Amor can bring a personal composure, conscientiousness, large knowledge of social media. Under Amor, Morelia became one of the most internet-savvy of international festivals.
“(At Morelia) I had to start from scratch with a digital strategy, and I remember that the first festival I tweeted from my Black Berry,” she recalled fondly, clearly still missing that phone.
“I remember, with a lot of love, when Tarantino arrived because we had 500 followers before, and suddenly there was a boom and Morelia was in second place in the world of film festivals in terms of Twitter followers. It was crazy!”
That experience doesn’t measure up to the far broader path that lies before Amor.
“The truth is that this is the biggest challenge of my career,” she admitted. “When I left the festival it was difficult, but one of the main reasons was to do new things. I just didn’t know it was going to be at this level. Since taking the job I have felt like I’m in a video game, where I have challenges, changes of location, changes of scenery. It is an inspiring and fast-moving.”
As a go-too person for Luna and García Bernal productions, she should have plenty of quarters to keep the video game going.