Headed by Alberto Müffelmann and Gerardo Gatica, Mexican indie production house Panorama Global has boarded Luis Javier Henaine’s feature “Desaparecer del todo,” a Moonlight Pictures production co-produced with Pablo Zimbron’s Varios Lobos.
The supernatural thriller, based on true events, explores witchcraft in Mexico through the eyes of a tabloid crime photographer.
Varios Lobos and Panorama previously co-produced Henaine’s popular comedy “Ready to Mingle,” and it’s a relationship Müffelmann was eager to rekindle.
“It is not just a business thing either,” he elaborated. “We understand one another well in a creative manner as well as for the economic and financial aspects. We work hand-in-hand. I think we’ve grown together. They came to us as a smaller company, but they are growing at the same time that we are.”
Also announced at Los Cabos, “Moonwalker,” is co-directed by Rodrigo Guardiola (“Zoé: Panoramas”) and Gabriel Nuncio (SXSW player “Cumbres”) of production house Bengala, which also produces.. It is, Gabriel, knocking 40, receives the proposal of having a child with his best friend. With a long history of failures and a city that seems against him, he decides to become a better person and reconcile with life and the cosmos.
The Bengala connection is another return to familiarity for Panorama, having worked with them on “I’m No Longer Here,” and having in the past cast Nuncio in several roles as an actor. “He’s like our good-luck talisman,” Müffelmann joked at Los Cabos.
Popular on Variety
Müffelmann argued that platforms like Netflix, once willing to take a punt on high-art festival standouts, no longer buy them. Therefore, films like the company’s Morelia winner “I’m No Longer Here” can no longer play such a large part of their strategy, explaining the push towards more box office-friendly fare in the lineup.
“Financially these types of films are no longer viable,” he explained to Variety. “As much as we are interested in continuing to do them, the amount of auteur cinema is decreasing in the marketplace.”
That’s one reason that Panorama will be distributing “I’m No Longer Here” on their own once its festival run has finished.
Müffelmann also shared details on two other upcoming features from Panorama.
Company co-founder Gatica will helm his first feature, “Mas Que Mil Palabras,” trading his desk for a director’s chair. Shot in July to release next summer, the fish out of water romantic comedy features a cast of well-known actors such as Verónica Castro, making her return to the big screen after 29 years working in TV such as Netflix’s “The House of Flowers”; Ximena Romo, a long-time TV favorite and recent co-star in the multi-award-winning “This is Not Berlin”; Jesús Zavala, from Netflix’s first full non-English-language original “Club of Crows,” two-time Mexican Academy Ariel winner Héctor Bonilla; and five-time winner José Carlos Ruiz.
“Mas Que Mil Palabras” is the story of a young man who grows up in the U.S. with his grandparents, never knowing his family’s native Mexico. Upon his grandfather’s death he is left with a list of things he must see and do in Mexico. In his 20s he heads, for the first time, to Mexico to connect with his roots. There he encounters two worlds, a modern Mexico embodied by a love interest, as well as a historic, outdated Mexico that only sees him as a gringo, not a native son.
“Una navidad no tan padre,” the sequel to 2016’s comedy hit “Un padre no tan padre” (“The Patriarch”), sees the return of Hector Bonilla as Don Servando Villegas, the family patriarch who has been expelled from his nursing home and crashes with his son’s family. The sequel sees the family together once again, this time staying at a rich aunt’s mansion for the Christmas season. Raúl Martínez returns to direct the follow-up to one of Panorama’s biggest box office hits which pulled in just over $6 million worldwide.