Venezuelan helmer-scribe Ignacio Castillo Cottin, who has signed with Hollywood talent agency APA, is prepping his first English-language film, “The Death of Marquez.” Budgeted for up to $10 million, it’s an ambitious leap from his previous film, “El Inca,” made for an estimated $1 million, which repped Venezuela at this year’s foreign-language Oscar race
The dramedy takes place mostly in Paris, and will include some French, Spanish and Italian as it includes scenes in Rome, Morocco and a South American country, said Castillo. APA is packaging the feature film for Castillo who is in Los Angeles to meet with potential studio partners and cast.
“The Death of Marquez” turns on a writer in his mid-thirties who chances upon strange characters, finds romance with a gorgeous French woman and the plot for his next novel, all while investigating the mysterious death of his friend, Marquez.
The film “is not an exercise in morality, nor does it seek to initiate a search for the improvement of the human race, it’s just a wonderful journey that is worth discovering to tell and enjoy,” said Castillo.
“Marquez” is Castillo’s third film after “El Inca” which has sold to a wealth of territories including the U.S. (Outsider Pictures), France (Canal Plus for France and French-speaking Africa) and Latin America (Sony Pictures).
A biopic about local boxing champ Edwin Valero, “El Inca,” screened for barely three weeks in Venezuela before an injunction from Valero’s family forced theaters to remove it. Castillo won an appeal to re-screen it but it remained in legal limbo. Despite its troubles in the exhibition circuit, Venezuelan film industry guilds unanimously selected it to represent the country at the Oscars and it has fared well in the film festival arena.
Castillo doubts he’ll be able to shoot again in Venezuela anytime soon. It’s not that it’s impossible but the key crew members that form the backbone of any film industry are gone; most of them have left the country, according to Castillo. The film fund handled by autonomous film institute CNAC has been depleted because of hyper-inflation in what was once the richest country in Latin America.