Oscar-nominated Argentine actress Norma Aleandro will add her voice to “The Paradise” (El Paraiso), a noirish 2.5D animated feature directed by Federico Moreno Breser. Produced by Fernando Sirianni’s Nomad VFX, the project will take part in the Animation! Pitching Sessions in Ventana Sur this week.
Set in 1920s Rosario – a city known as the “Argentine Chicago” – “The Paradise” is the story of Magdalena and Anna Scilko, immigrant sisters who arrive from Poland with hopes for a new future. But the duo unwittingly fall into the hands of the Warsaw Clan, a ruthless crime syndicate that controls the largest prostitution ring in the city, setting off a story of love, revenge and betrayal, told in an arresting hybrid of 2D and 3D animation styles.
As a storyteller, Breser said he was inspired by his grandfather, who used to regale the director with colorful tales about the Rosario of his youth—a cosmopolitan city of immigrants and a playground for the mafia, who waged violent turf wars for control of the city. “Those stories have been with me since I was a little kid, and it’s really important for me to be able to keep telling them,” he says.
Breser turned those stories into “Tierra de Rufianes,” a stylish animated series that earned critical acclaim in Argentina and laid the groundwork for “The Paradise.” It also caught the eye of Sirianni, who described the series as a “gem.” “After seeing the material, I didn’t hesitate and told Federico that I wanted to take this story to the big screen,” he says. “That historical moment…we had to explore in greater depth. And we could only achieve this through the gaze given to you by cinematographic language.”
The duo quickly felt a connection, says Sirianni, who chose “to combine my experience in film production with that of him as an animation director, and to exploit it artistically and commercially.”
With half of the production budget for “The Paradise” in place, the pair are looking for potential co-production partners in Ventana Sur, while looking ahead to further collaborations. Breser and Sirianni already have two additional projects in development. Says Sirianni, “The decision to make an alliance was a quick one.”