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Gaston Pavlovich Talks About Producing ‘The Irishman’

Through his production company Fabrica De Cine, Gastón Pavlovich is one of the producers on Martin Scorsese’s two most recent movies: 2016’s “Silence” and 2019’s “The Irishman.” The 51-year-old native of Mexico first gained notice as an executive producer on the Tom Hanks comedy-drama “A Hologram for the King.” Pavlovich also began working with Scorsese on “Silence” in Taiwan in 2015. During that time, Scorsese expressed his gratitude to Pavlovich for backing “Silence” and promised he would be a producer on his next project, which turned out to be “The Irishman.” At the American Film Market, Pavlovich discussed his relationship with Scorsese, Netflix and the future of world cinema.

Why did you decide to back “Silence”?
“Silence” was a very complicated project for Hollywood. My first conversation with Marty was a very deep conversation about faith and film, a very human conversation. We knew “Silence” was a risky project and he could not get it set up at the studios or the mini-majors. I saw it as a great opportunity. And it was a very special moment to get it shown at the Vatican before the pope.

When did you first find out about “The Irishman”?
One evening in Taiwan, Marty had told me that he was very appreciative of my backing “Silence” and that I could produce whichever project he did next. So he called about a year later and said it would be “The Irishman.” He set me up to meet with Robert De Niro at his restaurant and I had a wonderful conversation with him, like my first conversation with Marty.

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Why did “The Irishman” wind up at Netflix?
I talked to every single studio asking if they wanted to co-produce and co-finance and they only wanted to distribute. They didn’t want to invest in a drama like this because they didn’t think it was going to work out financially. Marty wanted to add the new technology for showing aging for the main actors rather than using prosthetics. I said that we would not be able to get it sold to the studios. Marty reached out to Netflix and it was very evident that [Netflix film topper] Scott Stuber wanted it.

What do you think about the success of Mexican filmmakers Alfonso Cuaron and Benicio del Toro?
Del Toro and Cuaron are artists and I’m just a businessman. But they did pave the way for Latin American filmmakers. They opened a window for the world stage. International films cross borders and that’s what international filmmaking is all about. When I started my first films 10 years ago, 50% of the income of the entire world was United States and 50% was the rest of the world. Nowadays it’s up to 70% for the world.

What is the next project for you?
We’ve got the Latin American premiere of “The Irishman” on Nov. 13 in Cabo San Lucas. We’re doing another film for Netflix with a remake of “Harvey.” We’ve hired a team of writers and I think we’re on the right path.

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