Uruguay-based Cimarrón is in development on Argentine Paula Hernandez’s new feature “El Viento Que Arrasa” and Brazilian Marco Dutra’s series “Las Moscas,” as it aims to become an OTT-age South American powerhouse.
The new productions come on top of Cimarron’s thriving business as a service company. It services more than 10 series from global platforms a year. This allows it to develop an adventurous line in feature film production while creating premium series with movie auteurs such as Dutra.
“El Viento Que Arrasa” is produced by Cimarrón and Argentina’s Rizoma and Tarea Fina (“Incident Light”).
Based on the novella by young Argentine writer Selva Almada, it turns on Reverend Pearson, who travels across the desert of north Argentina with reluctant adolescent daughter Leni in tow. When Pearson’s car breaks down, he seeks a repair at a remote car workshop and sets out to save its owner Gringo Brauer’s son’s soul, prompting Leni’s first act of open rebellion against her father.
Hernández is currently penning the screenplay with Leonel D’Agostino, aiming at a second half 2022 shoot in Argentina. Cimarrón is considering an international cast given that both lead characters are of foreign extraction, said Cimarrón partner Hernán Musaluppi.
Dutra is writing limited drama series “Las Moscas,” based on psychological suspense thriller “They Look Like Flies From Afar,” by Kike Ferrari, described as “a literary revelation” by The Wall Street Journal.
The novel turns on a self-made Argentine millionaire who simply liquidates his business rivals — until, that is, one day when he finds a dead body in the trunk of his BMW, and wonders who on earth has the power to challenge him.
“’Las Moscas’ is a kind of crime procedural without any investigating cop. It takes place in the head of a paranoid, which makes it highly interesting,” said Musaluppi.
Hernández’s latest film, “The Sleepwalkers,” which world premiered at Toronto’s Platform Competition, was chosen as Argentina’s Oscar submission in 2020.
Dutra’s first two features, Cannes-selected “Hard Labor” and Locarno Silver Leopard winner “Good Manners” established him, with co-director Juliana Rojas, as Brazil’s foremost smart genre director.
Based out of Argentina’s Rizoma, Musaluppi was a leading light of the New Argentine Cinema, making straight-arrow fest-prized titles – Berlin Best First Feature winner “Giant” – as well as far more commercial plays, such as comedy “No Sos Vos, Soy Yo.” His large concern was always to find a larger audience for auteur cinema.
Relocating to Monetevideo, and at a far larger company – Cimarrón has a staff of some 50 employees – Musaluppi can now play off play off the country’s stability, high-quality talent pool and rebates, and the huge demand for drama series, which has created a cash cow for Cimarrón in its shoot service operation, as well as new potential audiences for auteurs.
“I think auteur cinema has an opportunity to reinvent itself as a place for experiment, enquiry,” said Musaluppi.
Premium series direction can, however, allow a commercial future for world cinema auteurs, he argued. Dutra’s “Las Moscas,” now the subject of conversation with international players, is one example.
“The company has grown exponentially. We’ll service more shoots this year than last, and even more next year,” Musaluppi said.
Such private-sector business models are ever more vital as both Argentina and Brazil face challenges to public film funding, though for very different reasons.