×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Gloria Bell,’ ‘Fantastic Woman,’ ‘No’ Producer Juan de Dios Larraín: 5 Takes

This weekend’s third-best U.S. screen average of the year for “Gloria Bell,” which he produced, or the Oscar last for “A Fantastic Woman,” both point in the same direction: Arguably, no producer in Latin American has been so successful in the last decade as Juan de Dios Larraín.

The Ibero-American Mayahuel Larraín will now receive at Mexico’s Guadalajara Festival merely underscores that suggestion. Why is another matter. Prizes are a “consequence not a cause,” Juan de Dios Larraín argues. Variety digs deeper:

1.FABULA: A TALENT CENTER

Above all else, Hollywood is a talent center. So too the BBC in its heydays. With brother, director and fellow-producer, Pablo Larraín, described by Guy Lodge in his Variety review of Natalie Portman starrer “Jackie” as the most daring and prodigious political filmmaker of his generation, Larraín formed a natural talent center setting up Fabula in Santiago de Chile in 2004. Talent, moreover, attracts and sparks inspiration from other talent. Fabula filmmakers Sebastian Lelio (“Gloria,” “A Fantastic Woman,” “Gloria Bell”) Magaly Rivas (“Young & Wild) and now Lucía Puenzo (TV series “La Jauria”) have set standards for one another, working in what Pablo Larraín once described as “friendly rivalry.” “Cinema is a collective sport,” says Juan de Dios Larraín. “Working with this who have best developed this craft helps to get better results. Ideally, you should work with people who know more than you do.”

2.CHILE’S RICH THEATRICAL TRADITION

It has given Larraín world-class actors (and theater directors), who deliver intricate, acutely-calibrated performances: Think Alfredo Castro (“Tony Manero,” “Post Mortem” “The Club,” ) and Luis Gnecco (“Neruda”) and playwrights as scriptwriters. Theater isn’t just about narrative: It is meant to have larger, universal meaning. So too do many Fabula films. Pablo Larraín’s “Neruda” delivers a non hagiographical vision of Chile’s Nobel prizewinner. But it is also explores identity as a fictional construct and the lure of immortality via fame.

3.ESTABLISHING EXPECTATIONS

“Films’ results are measured by what one expects. It’s important to establish what you expect from each project with a sense of reality, avoiding frustrations down the road,” Juan de Dios Larraín argues. Few producers outside the U.S. have been so good in recent years at delivering on expectation. Three times, Larraín has looked to broaden his filmmakers’ audience: With “No,” starring Gael García Bernal and “Gloria,”; moving into English-language filmmaking (“Jackie”) and establishing a U.S. office (“Gloria Bell” with Julianne Moore ); bowing a first international TV series (“La Jauría). Every time he’s delivered. “No” and “Gloria” earned $9.0 million and $10.3 million respectively worldwide; “Jackie” won Portman an Oscar nomination, glowing critical plaudits; “La Jauría” was picked up for co-development, production and distribution by Fremantle.

4.BEING ON FOR THE LONG RUN

The only thing highly successful people have in common is hard work, often over a near insane long time. “Fuga,” Larraín’s first production, bombed. Larraín says he really learnt to produce on a TV series, HBO’s “Prófugos.” “Good results commonly come after various attempts,” says Juan de Dios Larraín. “That’s how apprenticeship works, you do something, and then again, and so on. Cinema requires a longterm vision. It’s not a good idea to try to achieve significant results in the short run. Things don’t work like that.”

5.STRIVING FOR QUALITY

“It’s a cliché,” Juan de Díos Larraín recognizes. But it’s a cliché because it’s consistently true. “Quality’s related to detail in every part of the process, maybe more than a result an attitude,” Larraín argues. In such a competitive, challenged market as today’s movie sector, upscale films have to be really, really good. Otherwise, they most probably won’t work at all.

JUAN DE DIOS LARRAIN: SELECT CREDITS

2019: upcoming: “The Pack,” (TV series, Lucía Puenzo)

2019: upcoming: “Ema,” (Pablo Larraín, 2019)

2018: “Gloria Bell,” (Sebastián Lelio, 2018)

2017: “Princesita,” (Marialy Rivas, 2017)

2017: “A Fantastic Woman,” (Sebastián Lelio, 2017, Academy Award winner, Foreign Language Film)

2016: “Jackie,” (Pablo Larraín, best screenplay, Golden Osella, Venice; three Academy Award nominations: Actress (Natalie Portman), costume design (Madeline Fontaine); original score (Mica Levi)

2016: “Neruda,” (Pablo Larraín, Golden Globe nomination, Foreign Language Film)

2015:  “The Club,” (Pablo Larraín,  Grand Jury Prize, Berlin; Golden Globe nomination, Foreign Language Film)

2015: “Nasty Baby,” (Sebastián Silva, Teddy Award, Best Feature, Berlin)

2013: “The Quispe Girls,” (Sebastián Sepúlveda, Fedeora Award. best cinematography for Inti Briones, Venice)

2013: “Gloria,” (Sebastián Lelio, best actress (Paulina García) Berlin)

2013: “Crystal Fairy and the Magic Cactus,” (Sebastián Silva, directing award World Cinema – Dramatic, Sundance)

2012: “No,” (Pablo Larraín, Academy Award nomination, Foreign Language Film, C.I.C.A.E. Award, Directors’ Fortnight, Cannes)

2012: “Young & Wild,” (Marialy Rivas, screenwriting award, Rivas, Camila Gutiérrez, Pedro Peirano, Sebastián Sepúlveda, World Cinema – Dramatic, Sundance)

2011-2013: “Fugitives,” (TV series, directed by Javier “Fox” Patrón, Pablo Larraín, Jonathan Jakubowicz, Israel Adrián Caetano)

2010: “Post Mortem,” (Pablo Larraín, selected for Venice competition)

2010: “Blokes,” (Marialy Rivas, Grand Jury Prize winner, shorts competition, Miami)

2008: “Tony Manero,” (Pablo Larraín, selected for Cannes Directors’ Fortnight)

Sebastian Lelio, foreground center, and Juan de Dios Larrain, background from left, transgender actress Daniela Vega, Francisco Reyes, and Pablo Larrain accept the award for best foreign language film for "A Fantastic Woman" at the Oscars in Los AngelesFilm-Authentic Casting, Los Angeles, USA - 4 Mar 2018
CREDIT: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Andhadhun receives AACTA nomination

    Indian and Chinese Titles Dominate AACTA Asian Award Nominations

    Three Indian and three mainland Chinese films are among the nine feature movies shortlisted for the Best Asian Film Award by the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts. The Indian selections are box office hit “Andhadhun,” “Super Deluxe, and “Gully Boy,” which premiered in February at the Berlin festival. The Chinese trio includes “Shadow,” [...]

  • Fernando Meirelles The Two Popes

    Film News Roundup: 'The Two Popes' Wins Audience Award at Miami Festival

    In today’s film news roundup, “The Two Popes” wins an audience award, “A Night with Janis Joplin” and “Fittest in Dubai” get releases, Artists First reorganizes, SAG-AFTRA expands its headquarters and Film Fest 919 announces its winners. AUDIENCE AWARD Fernando Meirelles’ “The Two Popes” has won the audience award at the Miami Gems Film Festival. [...]

  • Scotty Bowers

    Scotty Bowers, Old Hollywood's Sexual Matchmaker, Dies at 96

    Scotty Bowers, a “sexual matchmaker” for dozens of stars during the Golden Age of Hollywood who wrote about his colorful — and sometimes unbelivable — life in his memoir “Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars,” died at his Laurel Canyon home on Sunday. He was 96. The [...]

  • AMC theater

    AMC Entertainment Introducing On-Demand Movie Service

    AMC Entertainment will introduce an online video store in the United States on Tuesday. Adam Aron, AMC’s president and chief executive, said that the AMC Theaters On Demand will offer about 2,000 films for sale or rent after their theatrical runs — much like Amazon or iTunes. Disney, Warner Bros., Universal, Sony and Paramount have [...]

  • Scarlett Johansson poses for photographers upon

    Scarlett Johansson 'Pushing' for All-Women Marvel Movie

    After the epic battle scene in “Avengers: Endgame” depicted the female superheroes uniting to protect Spider-Man from Thanos, Marvel fans started wondering if they’ll ever see the women unite for a standalone movie. “Captain Marvel” star Brie Larson generated even more buzz when she told Variety that she and other female co-stars have approached Marvel [...]

  • Ivana Lombardi Netflix

    Annapurna Film Head Ivana Lombardi Named Director of Indies at Netflix (EXCLUSIVE)

    Annapurna Pictures president of film Ivana Lombardi is moving across town to Netflix, after almost a year in her role at Megan Ellison’s company. As of Nov. 6, Lombardi will serve as director of independent films at the streamer. She will report directly to Lisa Nishimura, Netflix’s vice president of independent film and documentary features. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content