Ecuador’s Cineática Films has boarded “Slay the Dragon” (“Matar el Dragon”) the third directorial outing by Chilean helmer-producer Roberto Doveris of Niña Niño Films, whose producing credits include Venice 2019 Queer Lion winner, “The Prince.”

“Slay the Dragon” is among the 17 feature films in development that have participated at Sanfic Industria’s Santiago Lab: Fiction.

Doveris and Cineatica’s Gabriela Calvache met way back at the 2013 Cartagena Film Festival and reconnected at the 2019 Sanfic, which led to this alliance, said Doveris. Chile’s Peso Pluma (“Vida de Familia,” 2017) also co-produces.

“There are two things that prompted me to co-produce ‘Slay the Dragon’: The first is its director, Roberto Doveris, whom I admire as an artist and also love as a human being. The second reason is the story and the genre of the script,” said Calvache, who wrote, directed and produced her first feature “La Mala Noche,” Ecuador’s submission to the 2019 Academy Awards international feature category.

Doveris’ feature debut, “Las Plantas,” recognized with a Crystal Bear special mention and Generation 14Plus Jury award at the 2016 Berlin Film Festival, delved into the imaginary world of a girl who’s taking care of a brother in a vegetative state. “Slay the Dragon” plunges into the world of gaming.

“I’m a gamer myself and play a lot of video games,” Doveris admitted, who added that his latest film is inspired by “League of Legends,” a team-oriented online battle arena video game.

Co-written by Doveris and Ernesto Melendez, “Slay the Dragon” follows young medical students Fran and Pedro who begin to play a competitive mobile game called Universa. After a student vanishes on campus, they must decide whether to follow the alliance or betray each other in order to achieve academic success.

“The film will star Juan Cano who is also in my second film, ‘Ghost Project,’ which is now in post,” said Doveris who noted that Cano is the co-lead actor in the international series “Invisible Heroes,” which won Best European TV series at the Prix Europa. He is also the co-star of “The Island of the Penguins.”

“Ghost Project,” co-produced by Niña Niño Films and Rekia Agency, was planned during the COVID-19 quarantine and filmed in early 2021. It turns on Pablo, an aspiring actor, who works as a simulated patient and in odd alternative therapy sessions to make ends meet. As his life continues to spiral, his housemate vanishes, saddling him with more debt and mounting problems, including a ghost.

Niña Niño Films is also co-producing Work in Progress entry, “El Pa (de)ciente” (“(Im) Patient”), the second film of Constanza Fernández, winner of the 2012 Sanfic best director award for her debut feature, “Mapa Para Conversar” (“Map for Love”).