Argentina’s preeminent writer-director Lucia Puenzo, who has proven her showrunner chops with “La Jauria” for Amazon Prime and eco-thriller series “Cromo,” has partnered with Gaumont, the producers of Netflix mega-hit “Narcos,” in a multi-project development deal.
Among the projects in the pact is “Futuro Desierto,” a near-future, dystopian thriller that turns on a robotics engineer who moves with his family to an isolated town in Patagonia where he is ordered to test the first humanoid robots in secret. Puenzo, whose notable film credits include the Cannes-selected “XXY” and “The German Doctor,” will co-showrun and direct multiple episodes with her brother, Nicolas Puenzo, co-director of “Cromo” and “La Jauría.”
Another project, tentatively titled “This is Not a Love Song,” follows the extraordinary life of Tina Modotti, the eccentric Italian feminist photographer, model, actress and revolutionary political activist who was among the leading lights of cosmopolitan Mexico City in the early 1920s, along with the likes of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Puenzo will serve as showrunner and direct the series. Aliwen Entertainment’s Lucas Akoskin (“On the Milky Road,” “Nightingale”) and Leonor Varela (“Dallas,” “Lethal Weapon”) are attached to executive produce with Varela playing Modotti.
“Lucia is an extraordinary talent with a strong track record of creating compelling and visually captivating stories, and we are thrilled to be working with her on these two projects,” said Gaumont’s Christian Gabela, SVP, creative executive, head of Latin America & Spain.
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“We are also excited to collaborate with Nicolás Puenzo as co-showrunner of ‘Futuro Desierto,’ and with Lucas Akoskin and Leonor Varela for ‘This is Not a Love Song’ – who will bring Tina Modotti’s incredible story to life,” he added.
“The Gaumont team has shown remarkable expertise, innovation and intelligence in their feedback, making our collaboration one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had,” said Puenzo. “Their insight is vital to create more inclusive, diverse, culturally authentic and relevant stories,” she asserted.
With this deal, Puenzo has cemented her status as one of the most sought-after Latinx showrunning-directing talents. She will also showrun “La Jauria” producers Fremantle and Fabula’s “Miss Mexico,” a period thriller set against the insidious beauty pageant business in late 1980s Mexico. “La Jauria” is set for a second season on Amazon Prime.
Her upcoming film projects include “Dive,” starring Karla Souza, and “Losing Clementine,” an adaptation of the eponymous Ashley Ream novel, toplined by Jessica Chastain and Edgar Ramirez. Both films are slated for production in 2021.
As a writer, Puenzo’s novels and short stories have been translated in over 15 languages and she was chosen by the prestigious English literary magazine Granta as one of the 20 most important young writers in the Spanish language.