×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Berlin: Javier Bardem to Star in ‘Sanctuary’ (EXCLUSIVE)

The film forms part of a drive to create the largest protected area on Earth

Oscar-winning actor Javier Bardem will star in and produce “Sanctuary.” The film is part of the campaign to create the largest protected area on Earth, an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary, and an analysis of how that can be brought about.

Alvaro Longoria, a producer-partner at Morena Films and award-winning doc filmmaker, will direct, re-teaming with Bardem after the Wild Bunch-sold “Sons of the Clouds,” highlighting the plight of the Sahara people.

Javier Bardem will provide a voiceover commentary for the film. Actor Carlos Bardem (“The Zone”) also stars. “Sanctuary” is set up at the Bardem brothers’ Pinguin Films and Longoria’s Morena, one of Spain’s most active production houses.  Javier and Carlos Bardem and Longoria will produce.

In late January, Javier Bardem dived 900 feet in a two-man submarine from a Greenpeace boat to the Antarctic Ocean seafloor of the Antarctic Peninsula to discover the extraordinarily variegated and colorful Antarctic ocean-bed world of corral and sponges.

“Sanctuary” will capture the dive, and Greenpeace reels of Antarctic seascapes and marine life, plus, Bardem said, a “colloquial, person-to-person” explanation by scientists and marine biologists of this ocean life, which also takes in whales, penguins and krill. These species are now endangered by climate change, one-use plastic bags and mass fishing practices.

But “Sanctuary” shows how the eco conversation has moved on from problems to solutions. A voyage of discovery for Bardem, “Sanctuary” is however, “not about the messenger, it’s about the message, and what we need to do to get that message heard by people who really know how to create change,” Bardem said.

Longoria added: “The idea was to try and tell how these things are done. Not how necessary it is or that we are using too much plastic. We all know that. Now the question is, how can we act, how can we make a difference?”

One step, Bardem said is to create “noise” in traditional and social media. The BBC covered Bardem’s dive. By Feb. 8, “Stranger Things” star David Harbour, who has there million Instagram followers, and “Fantastic Beasts” Alison Sudol, were heading to the Antarctic on a Greenpeace boat and more than 40 celebrities – Gillian Anderson, Judi Dench, Helen Mirren among them – had signed on as ambassadors to a “Protect the Antarctic” campaign.

Greenpeace came to realize that in order to get people’s attention, you need a hook. Longoria said. “What I want to tell in this story is what that hook is, and how the hook works.”

Beyond studying how to reach people, “Sanctuary” will look at the work of scientists and the political struggle for the Sanctuary’s approval.

So in one scene from “Sanctuary,” the Bardems and Longoria will visit Berlin on Tuesday not for the festival but for Javier Bardem to talk to decision-makers and show footage of his trip to the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources.

The call for a sanctuary already has E.U.backing. A final decision will be taken by CCAMLR in October. Already the Bardems’ Antarctic visit turbo-boosted signatures to a Greenpeace Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary petition to one million.

“We want to stay away from these catastrophe docs that say the world is coming to an end, and for audiences to understand that, yes, they can make a difference.”

 

Javier Bardem, Sandra Schoettner, filmmaker Alvaro Congoria and Carlos Bardem holding a German banner onboard Greenpeace ship the Arctic Sunrise. Greenpeace is on a three-month expedition to the Antarctic to carry out scientific research, including seafloor submarine dives and sampling for plastic pollution, to highlight the urgent need for the creation of a 1.8 million square kilometre Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary to safeguard species like whales and penguins.
CREDIT: ©Christian Aslund/Greenpeace
Submarine being launched from Greenpeace ship the Arctic Sunrise outside Joinville Island in the Antarctic Sound, at the opening of the Weddell Sea. Greenpeace is conducting submarine-based scientific research to strengthen the proposal to create the largest protected area on the planet, an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary.
CREDIT: ©Christian Aslund/Greenpeace

More Film

  • FX's 'Snowfall' Panel TCA Winter Press

    John Singleton Hospitalized After Suffering Stroke

    UPDATED with statements from John Singleton’s family and FX Networks John Singleton, the Oscar nominated director and writer of “Boyz N’ the Hood,” has suffered a stroke. Sources confirm to Variety that Singleton checked himself into the hospital earlier this week after experiencing pain in his leg. The stroke has been characterized by doctors as [...]

  • 'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow

    'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow Easter Weekend at the Box Office

    New Line’s horror pic “The Curse of La Llorona” will summon a solid $25 million debut at the domestic box office, leading a quiet Easter weekend before Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” hits theaters on April 26. The James Wan-produced “La Llorona,” playing in 3,372 theaters, was a hit with hispanic audiences, who accounted for nearly 50% [...]

  • Jim Jarmusch in 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    Film Review: 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    “Carmine Street Guitars” is a one-of-a-kind documentary that exudes a gentle, homespun magic. It’s a no-fuss, 80-minute-long portrait of Rick Kelly, who builds and sells custom guitars out of a modest storefront on Carmine Street in New York’s Greenwich Village, and the film touches on obsessions that have been popping up, like fragrant weeds, in [...]

  • Missing Link Laika Studios

    ‘Missing Link’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Annapurna Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Missing Link.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.91 million through Sunday for [...]

  • Little Woods

    Film Review: 'Little Woods'

    So much of the recent political debate has focused on the United States’ southern border, and on the threat of illegal drugs and criminals filtering up through Mexico. But what of the north, where Americans traffic opiates and prescription pills from Canada across a border that runs nearly three times as long? “Little Woods” opens [...]

  • Beyonce's Netflix Deal Worth a Whopping

    Beyonce's Netflix Deal Worth a Whopping $60 Million (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netflix has become a destination for television visionaries like Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy, with deals worth $100 million and $250 million, respectively, and top comedians like Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle ($40 million and $60 million, respectively). The streaming giant, which just announced it’s added nearly 10 million subscribers in Q1, is honing in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content