Two of the highest-profile independents on the Spanish-language movie scene, Colombia’s 64-A Films and Spain’s Latido Films, are teaming to develop, produce and distribute premium TV and platform series.
Playing to their complementary expertise, Latido and 64-A will co-develop and co-produce titles, with 64-A overseeing physical production and Latido spearheading distribution.
Much of 64-A and Latido’s first development slate will be presented to potential partners at MipCancun, which kicks off Tuesday evening in Mexico, running Nov. 16-19.
Designed by 64-A founder Diego F. Ramírez and Juan Torres, Latido Films director of sales, the production alliance builds on the partners’ collaboration on two of the most successful of recent movie titles: Laura Mora’s feature debut “Killing Jesus,” a fest favorite sold to 40 countries; and Carlos Moreno’s “Lavaperros,” a Netflix Top 10 hit across Latin America.
First projects, unveiled to Variety in exclusivity, are squarely aimed at the Latin American and international markets:
“Gente de Bien”
A suspense thriller, from an original idea by the alliance’s head writer Carolina Barrera. Implacable journalist Susana Montenegro investigates the rape and murder of a 7-year-old girl of humble origins at a high society New Year’s Eve party 20 years before, in 1999. A caustic look at the impunity of Latin America’s ruling classes.
A failed classical violinist returns from Europe to a musical school in a hardscrabble Medellin hood and finds inspiration in its local hip hop scene, mounting an Opera Hip-Hop musical. Created by 64-A Films founder Diego F. Ramírez and Ana Lucía Gurisatti. A YA series.
A horror thriller: An engineer is dispatched to an oil rig on Colombia’s western plains to suffer the wrath of a witch and locals for the devastation and deaths wrought by his family’s oil field, founded 80 years back in bloody circumstances. In line with Netflix’s “The Haunting of Hill House” or “Marianne,” the producers say, the project is created by Gurisatti and Andrés Guevara.
A teen-targeting fantasy horror thriller turning on Alicia, a beautiful adolescent who inherits, without her knowledge, a supernatural forest spirit. Meanwhile, the woods around her village rebel against human onslaught, provoking death-dealing natural disasters. Originated by Ramírez and Barrera.
“Tierra de Nadie”
A retired female intelligence operative is forced back into action on a life and death mission to save her family, as she begins to feel once once the adrenaline rush of active service. True case based, from an idea by Ramírez.
Lucía Lisboa, a top executive at a cosmetics empire, is promoted to CEO and forced to turn around a company she despises, controlled by a dysfunctional family. A big business dramedy originated by Leila Facchini, Jorge Hernández, Diego Camargo and Heryka Solano.
“Noriega, Ni un Paso Atrás”
An action bio of the heinous Panamanian narco dictator Manuel Antonio Noriega, narrated by his right hand man, channelling “The Crown,” “Narcos” and Pablo Larrain’s “Jackie,” its producers say.
Wheelchair using with a brilliant mind, Gabriel Gómez, a devotee of Sherlock Holmes, is unjustly expelled from his city’s top school. Such is the trauma that he comes to believe he’s his literary hero as he cracks cases at the worst reputed school in the metropolis and prepares to solve his biggest mystery: Who was really behind his unjust expulsion?
64-A and Latido can draw on multiple competitive advantages, such as extraordinary low cost of production in Colombia which will allow the partners to scale up on productions without pricing series out of the market.
Also, Colombia’s top-of-the-class talent pool has exploded over the last decade thanks to a vibrant big shoot scene, galvanized by the success of “Narcos” and juiced by the most fulsome 20%-40% international shoot rebates and tax credits in Latin America. 64-A itself has provided production services on “Kill Chain,” with Nicolas Cage, and “Netflix’s “Playing With Fire.”
The jewel in the alliance’s crown, however, is Room 65A, a writers room which features talent with decades of experience such as its head writer Barrera, producer of “Dog Eat Dog” and Santiago Caicedo’s 2018 Berlin player “Virus Tropical,” an office manager on James Gray’s “The Lost City of Z” and line producer of Peter Webber’s “Pickpockets” and writer on RCN’s medical drama “Enfermeras.”
Guevara wrote on Colombia’s remake of the Chris Morena format “Floricienta,” as well as “Enfermeras” and RCN boxing hit “A Mano Limpia.”
Joined by Facchini, Juan David Cobos and Gurisatti, Room 65A’s writers have taken credits on Carcacol/Netflix hit “Surviving Escobar. Alias JJ,” the Sony Pictures Television-produced “Search Bloc,” “El Baron,” “Miss Dynamite” and “Big Steps”; FoxTelecolombia’s “La Mariposa”; RCN classic “Francisco el Matemático”; and sports teen drama “Noobees,” from VIS and The Mediapro Studio.
“We’ve created a development slate which we feel very proud off, with projects which are innovative, risk-taking and targeted at global markets. We are very happy with this alliance with Latido Films: Its market knowledge and experience will boost the reach we’re looking for,” Ramírez said.
Torres added: “We’re joining forces with 64-A and Room 65A to ramp up product quality. Networks, platforms and production partners will appreciate the level of what we’re proposing very soon.”
For Antonio Saura, Latido Films CEO, “Diego Ramírez and 64-A have created a great team in a country which has proved to be a hotbed of big ideas.
He added: “For Latido, it’s an honor to support the development and distribution of these projects of enormous international appeal and so continue a highly profitable and creative relationship with 64-A.”
Based out of Bogotá and Cali, 64-A Films credits take in 2007’s “Dog Eat Dog,” which helped launch a modern Colombian movie industry, through another Sundance player, 2011’s “Your Dead Ones,” also directed by Carlos Moreno, to Chus Gutiérrez’s salsa-set romantic comedy “Ciudad Delirio.” Ramírez took an executive producer credit on Caracol bio series “Escobar: The Drug Lord.”
Madrid-based, Latido Films fast consolidated as the Spanish-speaking world’s preeminent arthouse sales agent, distributing down the years some of its biggest hits such as Andrés Wood’s “Machuca” and Sundance winner “Violeta Went to Heaven,” multiple Carlos Saura titles, Juan José Campanella’s Oscar-winning “The Secret in their Eyes” and “The Distinguished Citizen,” from Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat.
It has diversified into mainstream comedy and edgier genre, handling sales on 2019 Toronto hit “The Platform,” which looks like the most watched non-English language movie to date on Netflix.