Last spring at the Cannes Film Festival, nearly all the projects in competition hailed from directors already well-known on the Croisette: Mike Leigh, Jean-Luc Godard, etc. And then there was “Wild Tales,” a wickedly funny black comedy made up of four separate stories linked by a common theme — revenge — and directed by someone few outside the Spanish-speaking world had heard of: Damian Szifron.Although many were stunned by the slick, studio-caliber omnibus film, the Argentine writer-director responsible is no...
Back home in Argentina, Szifron had already established himself as a formidable talent from the moment his audacious TV series about a team of con artists for hire, “Los Simuladores” (“The Pretenders”), aired in 2002. Sony Pictures TV Intl. snapped up the rights to “Los Simuladores” and licensed local versions to Mexico, Chile, Russia and Spain. His follow-up series, “Brothers & Detectives,” spurred even more remakes.
Born in July 1975 to a Jewish family in Buenos Aires, Szifron studied film with notable screenwriter Angel Faretta. His previous film credits include “Punto Muerto” and “Tiempo de Valientes,” the latter so impressed Pedro Almodovar that he asked that his banner El Deseo produce Szifron’s next pic, “Wild Tales.” The wry comedy, comprised of six revenge-themed shorts, had its world premiere in Cannes where it vied for the Palme d’Or. It snagged a nomination for Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards, and remains the highest grossing film of all time in Argentina.
Hollywood quickly came calling. TriStar announced in March last year that he would helm and produce an English-language untitled thriller for them. A month later, TWC-Dimension tapped Szifron to write the screenplay and helm “The Six Billion Dollar Man,” with Mark Wahlberg to topline. In addition, he is developing Spanish-language romantic comedy “La Pareja Perfecta” (“The Perfect Couple”).