Francisco Hervé of Panchito Films, Moisés Sepúlveda from Madriguera Films and Daniela Raviola, three of Chile’s most exciting international-minded independent producers, have together launched a new indie production house, Juntos Films.
Hervé has written, directed (“The Power of Speech,” “The Lost City”) and produced (María Paz González ‘s “Daughter”) several feature films, documentaries and TV series which have screened at major festivals around the world. He is a member of the Eurodoc producers’ network and teaches at the University of Chile and Catholic University of Chile in Santiago.
“For year’s we’ve been working on our own, like lonely wolves. Collectively though, we find that in creative work the sum is more than the value of the parts,” he told Variety about the merger.
Raviola has produced short films, television, documentaries, animation and served as General Producer of the International Animation Festival Chilemonos and MAI! Animation Market. She worked with Hervé at Panchito where she headed documentary production for the company.
For her part, Raviola believes, “In a pack it’s more fun. We can do more, better and faster. Although there are only three of us, we have close relationships with collaborators with whom we plan to develop projects.”
Sepúlveda’s debut feature, “The Illiterate,” premiered at Venice’s International Critics’ Week and was nominated for Fenix and Platino awards for Ibero-American cinema. A director, screenwriter and film producer, he has worked on short films, in TV and is an academic at the School of Cinema and TV of the University of Chile.
“Our logo defines us,” he explained. “Small fish, each different from one another in size, color, shape, but close together and facing the same direction, creating something larger.”
“We are determined to collaborate with people from other countries,” said Hervé, providing an example of what something larger could mean.
“We currently have a Chile-France co-production, are developing a project to co-produce with Mexico, and co-writing several things with an Argentine screenwriter. In a couple of weeks, we will be in Toronto to advance this line of international work,” he added.
A look at the company’s upcoming projects validates the statement, and points to the dispora of talent from territories like Argentina, where funding projects has become increasingly difficult in recent years, and how companies in Chile can take advantage and contribute to the relatively new tradition of co-production between the countries of the southern cone of South America.
Juntos Films’ catalog is already coming together with several fiction and documentary film projects in different stages of production. In fact, the label will release its first four features across 2020.
Sepúlveda’s “Gran Avenida,” (Grand Avenue) will be the company’s first feature to release next year. The fiction feature peeks in on three neighbors living on Gran Avenida in southern Santiago, each living through moments up upheaval and frustration.
“El Otro” (The Other) from relative newcomer Francisco Bermejo is the story of two tormented souls living in one body. The documentary will examine the relationship between a lonely man and his other, imagined personality, with each making separate appearances on screen.
Esteban Cabezas’ “La Taza Rota” (The Broken Cup) sees protagonist Rodrigo thrown out of his home, losing his girlfriend and child. Early one morning, he returns intent on getting back what he sees as his, at the risk of harming those he loves most.
Juntos final 2020 title is a co-production with Olivos Cinema titled “La Tierra del Fuego” from director Alfredo Pourailly. In the film, Toto, one of the last gold diggers on Chile’s Tierra del Fuego island suffers a stroke and is convinced his work is killing him. To help the old man out, his 21-year-old son Jorge builds a curious machine meant to lighten the workload.
The company already has a healthy pipeline established as well.
Set to shoot in November, “Immersion” is the latest screenplay from one of Latin America’s most notable rising writer-directors, Agustín Toscano. His debut feature, “Los Dueños,” stunned at Cannes Critics’ Week scoring a special mention, and his follow-up, “The Snatch Thief,” notched a San Sebastian Latino Horizons special mention last year.
Nicolás Postiglione is set to direct, with Chile’s most recognizable actor Alfredo Castro (“The Club,” “No”) taking the lead. Primate Lab and Araucaria Cine are co-producing.
“La Carola” from Juan Olea and Cristóbal Zapata, was recently awarded with Chilean Audiovisual Fund coin and will begin filming in September 2020.
Finally, in early stages of development, the company is preparing feature films from Sebastián Pereira (“The Illuminati”), Felipe Egaña (“Guest”), Fernando Lavanderos (“Las Cosas Como Son”) and the feature debut of Alvaro Díaz, creator of the popular Chilean children’s puppet program “31 Minutes,” which will be an ambitious musical.