You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Machete, Amplitud, Cine Sud, Peripheria Team on Cecchetti’s ‘Tarahumara’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Axel Shalson, Jana Díaz Juhl and Pau Brunet at L.A.-based Amplitud have boarded Federico Cecchetti’s sophomore feature “Journey to the Land of the Tarahumara,” produced by Edher Campos at Mexico’s Machete Producciones in co-production with Yanick Letourneau’s Quebec-based Périphéria (Juan Andrés Arango García’s “V-500”) and Thierry Lenouvel’s Paris-based Cine-Sud (Rubén Mendoza’s “Wandering Girl”). Mexico’s Eficine production fund is also backing the project.

As producers, Brunet and Díaz have previously backed productions such as Mexico’s Oscar submission “The Chambermaid” (Lila Avilés), a large critical and commercial success, and SXSW Special Jury winner “10,000 Km” (Carlos Marques-Marcet). Their new company, Amplitud, primarily focuses on first or second works from promising Latin American directors.

Machete produced Carlos Carrera’s “Tales of Mexico” (‘La Habitación’), and Cannes’ Un Certain Regard winner “La Jaula de Oro” from Diego Quemada-Diaz.

According to Campos, the feature is a “tribute to the Tarahumara’s indigenous millennial culture with its deep appreciation of nature and its particular conception of the human being and the cosmos.”

Popular on Variety

He added: “Personally, when I attended the first scalping ritual in Chihuahua, I felt a foreigner in my own country. This film is a confrontation between cultures that invites us to reflect on our own spirituality and the perpetuity of the sacred in order to find ourselves.”

Set in 1936, in the Tarahumara mountains, the feature follows Rayenari, a young native whose life changes with the arrival of a singular poet named Antonin Artaud –the French avant-garde writer, actor and playwright, who starred in Abel Gance’s “Napoleon” in 1927 and authored the well known ‘Theater of Cruelty” manifesto. Antonin convinces Rayenari to let him participate in a ritual of the Ciguri, the Tarahumara medicinal plant, seeking to heal the poet’s tortured soul. Meeting with the Tarahumara brings Antonin a sense of peace. Returning to France, he ended up locked away in a psychiatric institution.

Through dreams, Rayenari will try to heal the poet’s lost soul. In France the psychiatrist attending Artaud opts for a different therapy, electric shock treatment.

Thierry Lenouve and Yanick Letourneau

“We’re living at a key time in terms of handling so-called ‘craziness.’ Through a mystical story, Cecchetti’s movie studies nature’s relevance in curing sickness and invites us to reflect on some spiritual elements which we should preserve,” Brunet told Variety.

Shooting is scheduled for March 2020 in Chihuahua, Mexico. The cast will include mostly non-professional actors and will use three languages: Rarámuri —the Tarahumara’s Uto-Aztecan language — Spanish and French.

Mexican-Italian helmer Cecchetti surprised audiences and critics with his debut “Mara’Akame’s Dream,” an exploration of shamanism in Mexico. It took best first Mexican feature at the Morelia Intl. Film Festival and a Mexican Academy Ariel Award for best first film in 2016, among other kudos.

Developed at the Cannes Festival’s directors’ residence Cinefondation, the script was written by Cecchetti with assistance from Mexican scribe Alejandro Mendoza (Nicolas Pereda’s “The Absent”) and Luis Buñuel’s regular collaborator Jean-Claude Carrière, awarded an honorary Oscar in 2015.


More Film

  • Colombia’s ‘Valley of Souls’ Wins Marrakech’s

    Colombia’s ‘Valley of Souls’ Wins Marrakech’s Etoile d’Or

    The 18th edition of the Marrakech Intl. Film Festival awarded the Etoile d’Or for best film to Colombia’s “Valley of Souls,” directed by Nicolás Rincón Gille. In his acceptance speech the director said: “Colombia is a country that people know very little about. But in this film I try to offer a glimpse of the [...]

  • SAFF Winners 2019

    ScreenSingapore: Philippines Projects Take Top Prizes at SAFF Market

    Projects from the Philippines took away the top prizes awarded Friday at the conclusion of Screen Singapore’s Southeast Asian Film Financing (SAFF) Project Market. The event is part of the Singapore Media Festival. The winners included director J.P. Habac’s musical comedy drama “Golden” about homeless gay seniors who reunite to perform as drag queens to [...]


    'The Favourite' Wins Big At The 32nd European Film Awards

    Yorgos Lanthimos’s “The Favourite” scooped the 32nd European Film Awards, winning best film, best comedy and best actress for Olivia Colman who previously won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Queen Anne in the film. “The Favourite” was leading the nominations along with Pedro Almodóvar’s “Pain and Glory,” Marco Bellocchio’s “The Traitor” and Roman [...]

  • Ed-Skrein-Erica-Rivas-Fernando-Trueba-Lucia-Puenzo

    Ventana Sur 2019: Big New Titles, Argentina-Mexico, Deals, Trends

    BUENOS AIRES   —  The last few years have caught Ventana Sur – Cannes Festival and Market’s biggest initiative outside France – taking place as the industry debated radical change. This year saw the Latin American industries in a state of  transformation themselves, wracked by headwinds – Jair Bolsonaro’s government in Brazil – or looking [...]

  • 'Free Guy' Trailer: Ryan Reynolds, Jodie

    'Free Guy': Ryan Reynolds, Taika Waititi, Jodie Comer Star in First Trailer

    The first trailer for Ryan Reynolds’ “Free Guy” premiered Saturday at the CCXP convention in Brazil. Reynolds stars as Guy, a bank teller and NPC (non-playable character) who discovers he’s living in a video game. In the trailer, hostage situations, buildings being blown up and people shooting guns off in the street is depicted as [...]


    Asier Altuna Preps Basque Historical Drama ‘Karmele the Hour of Waking Together’

    Basque cinema is booming, and director Asier Altuna is part of the vanguard leading it forward. The Spanish filmmaker, behind 2005 Youth Award winner “Aupa Etxebeste!” and 2015 Best Basque Film “Amama” at the San Sebastián Intl. Film Festival, attended this year’s Ventana Sur Proyecta sidebar with his next project, “Karmele, the Hour of Waking [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content