Isaac Lee’s Exile Content Studio and Diego Enrique Osorno, whose “1994” must rate as one of the best series produced by Netflix in Mexico, have moved into production in Spain on “Montaña,” the first feature-length documentary to emerge from an Exile-Osorno first look deal announced in 2020.
Starting its shoot earlier this year in Chiapas, the southern-most state in Mexico, “Montaña” relates a current and historical mission by an indigenous movement, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), to build alliances in Europe.
The EZLN invited Osorno and ace Uruguayan cinematographer Maria Secco to join a delegation on a Nordic ship, La Montaña, as it made what Exile describes quite correctly as a highly symbolic voyage from the so-called New World to the Old.
After 52 days at sea, during which they shot hundreds of hours of footage, Osorno, Secco and an Exile production team are now continuing production in Spain.
“Montaña” aims to not just record the mission but allow the filmmakers to offer a never-before-seen look at the history of the Zapatista movement from its origins until today, Exile Content Studio said in a press release.
Lee and Arturo Sampson produce “Montaña.”
“We are convinced that the film that will emerge from this adventure will be as necessary and invaluable as it will be outstanding, both in an artistic and historic sense,” said Sampson.
Osorno said, “After 52 days aboard La Montaña, we landed with our hearts in our throats, with four thick notebooks filled with notes and over a hundred hours of shot film.”
“Hanging still in a corner of the old boat, the forgotten embroidery made by Marijose, Bernal, Yuli, Xime, Lupita, Felipe and Caro in that long, sometimes tempestuous, sometimes meditational, yet always adventurous and idealist high seas voyage,” he continued. “The now legendary 421 Squadron will continue the mission entrusted by the native Zapatista peoples: To rebuild this sickened world.”
Osorno has won grants from the Pulitzer Center and Rockefeller Foundation, and is the author of literary nonfiction works including the biography of Carlos Slim.
A model for investigative journalism in Mexico, “1994,” produced by Netflix and Vice Studios Latin America, was shot with cinematographic means and drove at the human and political tragedy behind the assassination that year of presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio.
One of Latin America’s most sought-after DPS, Secco’s credits include “La Jaula de Oro” and Everardo Gonzalez’s Berlinale hit “Devil’s Freedom.”