Spain’s Soul Pictures has picked up international sales rights to Mexican helmer-scribe Carlos Cuaron’s dramedy “Amalgama,” while Mexico’s Cinepolis has snagged Latin American distribution rights to the film.
Best known for co-writing his brother Alfonso’s career-reviving road movie “Y Tu Mama Tambien,” “Amalgama” is Cuaron’s third feature although he has directed several award-winning shorts, and participated in 2015 anthology “Vidas Violentas” as well as written scores of notable screenplays.
The film’s stellar Latinx cast includes Colombia’s Manolo Cardona (“Narcos’) and Peruvian star Stephanie Cayo (“Club de Cuervos”), as well as Mexico’s Miguel Rodarte (“Time Share”) and Mexican-American thesp Tony Dalton (“Better Call Saul”).
They play four dentists attending a conference in a Mexican resort where they decide to break away from the tedium to an island paradise. All three men seem to have designs on the nubile dentist played by Cayo, which revives old tensions among them while their own personal troubles bubble up to the surface.
The Mexico-Dominican Republic co-production shot for a week in Sian Ka’an, Mexico and in Las Terrenas, the capital of Santo Domingo and Pinewood Studios in the Dominican Republic, according to Cuaron.
Cardona’s 11:11 co-produced the film with Besos Cósmicos and LOKAL.
Cuaron took a break from his writing to answer a few questions from Variety:
What inspired you to write this story?
In 2011, I went to the Cartagena Film Festival with two short films where I met and became friends with Manolo Cardona and his brothers. Manolo invited me to spend a day in the Rosario Islands, a beautiful and heavenly place 45 minutes out to sea. I was having such a good time that I thought: ‘I should make a movie here.’ Before returning to Cartagena, I already had the concept in my head.
Why did you choose dentists as your lead characters?
The main theme is pain. If I say ‘dentist,’ people say ‘ouch.’ Their profession connotes pain despite the fact that they cure us. And I thought it was about time they were portrayed as normal human beings and not the torturers that always appear in movies.
“Amalgam” is an appropriate title, as it deals with the metal used in dental fillings. What other meaning does it have in the movie?
Well, it is an amalgam of characters as it is an “ensemble piece” and it is also a thematic amalgam. It is the union of different elements.
What themes do you like to explore in your movies?
It depends on the movie. Each one is different. In this case the central issue is pain. From it, and as a consequence of toxic relationships, the other themes emerge: Social and technological isolation, dependence on technology, the emptiness of loneliness, the superficiality of human relationships, corruption, hypocrisy, selfishness, betrayal, professional and personal vanity, independence and female empowerment, homosexuality, emotional dependence, oedipal relationships and infidelity, among others.
Do you have another film in development that you hope to direct?
I am writing a lot. From there, the next one will come out.