You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

FiGa Films Takes Salma Hayek-Exec Produced ‘This is Cristina’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Leading international sales agency-production-distribution company, FiGa Films, has snagged all worldwide rights to “This is Cristina” (“Ella es Cristina”), the directorial debut of Chilean scribe Gonzalo Maza, who has co-written four of Sebastian Lelio’s films, including his Oscar-winning “A Fantastic Woman” and Berlin Festival winner “Gloria.”

“It’s a pleasure to collaborate with Gonzalo, whose writing we’ve admired so much in the past. He’s got a great future as a director and we’re fortunate to be behind his lovely feature,” said FiGa’s Sandro Fiorin who has already sold it to China’s Beijing Hualu NewMedia.

Produced by Primate Lab, Noise Media and Maza’s Mar Humano, the black and white dramedy revolves around the titular Cristina and her best friend, played by Mariana Derderian and Paloma Salas, who are both in their 30s. After a major bust up between them, Cristina’s life spirals just when she could use the support of a good friend.

Salma Hayek, who met Maza at the Independent Spirit Awards last year, and Siobhan Flynn, her development exec at Ventanarosa Prods., serve as executive producers of the film.

“I was drawn towards ‘Ella es Cristina’ for its unique portrait of a generation of urban young Chilean women struggling for recognition and respect but in a fresh and funny way,” Hayek told Variety. “I am always looking to support fellow artists – Gonzalo is one of the most talented screenwriters in the Latin American community so I was excited to be involved in his directorial debut,” she continued.

Storyboard Media released the dramedy in Chile, where it received critical and audience acclaim on the alternative circuit last June.

“We found the indie format of the film very appealing so our company Primate Lab decided to join forces with Chilean digital marketing agency Noise Media to co-produce it,” said producer Nicolas San Martin, a partner in Primate Lab with Alejandro Wise.

“Cristina” was lensed by Chilean DP Benjamin Echazarreta, whose notable credits include “A Fantastic Woman,” “Gloria” and Luis Felipe Fernandez-Salvador’s stunning docudrama, “A Son of Man,” which represented Ecuador at the 91st Academy Awards.

Aside from presenting the international premiere of “This is Cristina” at Morelia, Maza is one of the mentors at the 3rd Sundance Morelia Lab, running Oct. 18-21 at the Morelia Int’l Film Festival (FICM).

“I filmed it in black and white firstly because the format lends a nostalgic tone, reminiscent of a time that has passed, which is the point of view of the film: Someone who remembers a time in her life she’d rather forget,” said Maza, who is now based in London.

“Secondly, it reminds me of many black and white films that I admire, that have always been honest, sincere and direct. I want to be part of this family of films, from ‘Tres Tristes Tigres’ by Raul Ruiz to ‘Permanent Vacation’ by Jim Jarmusch or ‘Paper Moon’ by Peter Bogdanovich,” he mused.

“John Cassavetes, Andrew Bujalski, Wim Wenders and ’25 Watts’ directors Pablo Stoll and Juan Pablo Rebella are among my many other references,” he added.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • the two popes

    How Luca Canfora Recreated The Papal Vestments for 'The Two Popes'

    Luca Canfora is no stranger to designing papal vestments; his previous projects include “The Young Pope” and “The New Pope.” Coming into Fernando Meirelles’ “The Two Popes” meant Canfora knew where he could have costumes made with the highest quality, and when it came to fabric choice and constructing his costumes. Canfora had to create [...]

  • Pom Klementieff poses at the launch

    Pom Klementieff Lands New Role in Next 'Mission: Impossible' Film

    “Guardians of the Galaxy” star Pom Klementieff is set to join the latest installment of Paramount and Skydance’s “Mission: Impossible,” joining Tom Cruise, who is reprising his role of Ethan Hunt. Christopher McQuarrie announced the news on Instagram on Tuesday, and is returning to write and direct the seventh and eighth movies, which will be [...]

  • Fede Alvarez

    'Don't Breathe' Director Fede Alvarez Developing White House Horror Movie With Legendary

    “Don’t Breathe” director-producer Fede Alvarez is teaming with Legendary Pictures for an untitled White House horror movie. The project, described as “The Shining” set in the White House, will be directed by Alvarez from a script by Joe Epstein and produced by Alvarez’s Bad Hombre Films. Legendary announced the horror movie Tuesday as part of [...]

  • Awkwafina Actors on Actors

    How 'The Farewell' Changed Awkwafina's Understanding of Grief and Mercy

    Awkwafina’s film “The Farewell” explores the Chinese tradition of not disclosing terminal illnesses to elderly family members. The actor discussed her evolving thought process on the subject matter with Taron Egerton (“Rocketman”) during a conversation for “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors.” Egerton began the interview by asking Awkwafina about her personal opinion of the film’s [...]

  • Kristen Bell and idina menzel Walk

    Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel Took Parallel Paths to Hollywood

    Once upon a time in New York City, two young talents set off on a near-impossible quest: a successful Broadway career. Since childhood, Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell had focused on their quest with a ferocious drive — and learned to avoid the trolls. In Long Island, Menzel, the daughter of a pajama salesman, spent [...]

  • Catherine Deneuve'Joker' premiere, 76th Venice Film

    Catherine Deneuve Is 'Feeling Fine' but Still Recuperating From Recent Stroke

    Nearly two weeks after suffering a stroke reported as minor, French screen icon Catherine Deneuve is “feeling fine” but still recuperating in a Paris hospital, her publicist said Tuesday. The 76-year-old actress suffered what her family called a “very limited” ischemic stroke – an incident caused by reduced blood flow to the brain – on [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content