Creating what appears to be one of the undisputed highlights of Ventana Sur’s Spanish-language screenings, three of Peru’s most prominent filmmakers, Daniel and Diego Vega and Joanna Lombardi, have tackled “Bienvenido Mr. Hollywood,” which promises a complete output for one of Catalonia’s avant-garde filmmakers. , Mar Col.
Co-created and directed by Coll (“Three Days with the Family”) and Aina Calleja, editor of Coll’s first series, “Killing the Father”), “Welcome Mr. Hollywood” is written by Coll, Calleja and Diego Vega , who with his brother Daniel broke out with their 2010 Cannes Un Certain Regard Jury Prize-winning debut, “October.” Winner of the Locarno Best Actor Award in 2013 for Fernando Bacilio, “El Mudo” cemented the brothers’ reputation as the best young authors in Latin America.
““Bienvenido Sr. Hollywood” is a principal production of Barcelona’s Funicular Films and a co-production of Lima-based Daniel and Diego Vega’s Maretazo Cine. Lombardi, former director of fiction for Telefónica Media Networks Latin America, will act as executive producer.
A key figure in the Latin American film and television scene while at Telefónica Media Networks, Lombardi produced a couple of Movistar Play original series from up-and-coming creators, including Colombian Mauricio Leiva Cock (“Capital Noise”); the Peruvian actor and director Salvador del Solar (“Magallanes”) and the Colombian Carlos Moreno (“Dog Eat Dog”, “All Your Dead Ones”), directors of “Los Prisioneros”, seen at the Iberseries in September; and the Vega brothers’ Movistar original series “El Día de Mi Suerte,” about a downtrodden impersonator of salsa star Héctor Lavoe clinging to the hope that his luck will change.
Coll burst onto the scene with “Three days with the family” in 2009, its intimate approach, its local setting and its wise description of the environment anticipated the solid films of the New Catalan Cinema by almost a decade, such as “Summer 1993” by Carla Simón . and the winner of the Berlin Golden Bear 2022 “Alcarràs”.
“Welcome Mr. Hollywood,” by contrast, is a very different proposition. Set in Iquitos, Peru, in the heart of the Amazon, it is about two best friends, women whose busy lives are suddenly upended by the news that a great director is arriving to film a sequel to “Fitzcarraldo”. “The revelation that the main character is a woman unleashes the wildest version of themselves as they dream of becoming the actress of choice,” the synopsis reads.
The cast has yet to be confirmed. The project is in an initial stage of financing. “With this film we seek to get out of our comfort zone and talk about cinema as a dream factory; like an epic that reminds us of the delirium in which he covers up everything around him, including people’s destinies,” Coll and Calleja say in a joint statement.
The film’s title echoes “Welcome Mr. Marshall,” the actor from Luis Berlanga’s 1953 Cannes competition satirizing Spain’s desperate desire to escape post-Civil War misery as sleepy Spanish villages fall. they dress like a typical Andalusian village in an absurd play to attract the Marshall Plan. aid.
“Welcome Mr. Hollywood” will not have this social satire, Coll said. But it will be a “clear comedy” assorted by characters “whose life is not easy and suddenly they see a ticket to paradise.”
“They do not always act out of the noblest of feelings -but rather out of vanity, out of ambition-, but they are very empathetic, which allows us to recognize ourselves in them, and they are seen with a certain tenderness that Berlanga had”, adds Coll.
Another influence Coll mentioned is Woody Allen’s “The Purple Rose of Cairo”.
Launched in the spring of 2021 by Aina Clotet, Jan Andreu, Marc Clotet and Marta Baldó, Funicular Films is currently developing a first list of films and series that address universal themes (coming of age, fear of death, the crisis of identity), but made with a dark comedy. point of view, said Baldó, who will produce “Welcome Mr. Hollywood” for Funicular.
Although set in Iquitos, with the incorporation of Diego Vega as co-writer, “Welcome Mr. Hollywood” could take place in many cities around the world, added Baldó.
Coll and Calleja know Latin America very well, more specifically Mexico. Although they met in Barcelona, they shared a flat in Mexico City between 2005 and 2007. Calleja worked in Mexico until 2016, working as an editor on the first feature films by directors who have become benchmarks in his cinema, such as Julio Hernández Cordón (“Gasolina”, 2008), Nicolás Pereda (“Los Ausentes”, 2014) and Katina Medina Mora (“You will know what to do with me”, 2015).
Likewise, Baldó worked between 1995 and 1998 at PCTV in Mexico City, a production house that also negotiated international channels with Mexican cable networks.
Calleja edited, and took writer credit, on Natalia Cabral and Oriol Estrada’s 2021 “A Movie About Couples,” part of the Dominican Republic’s growing auteur cinema. She wrote and directed the short film “Los días en veranos son más largos”, which received a special mention at the Cartagena Film Festival in Colombia in 2011. Calleja is editing “Extinció”, her last short film as a writer and director ,
After Coll’s second feature, 2013’s “Todos quiero lo mejor para ella”, Coll, Diego Vega and Valentina Viso co-wrote the Movistar+ miniseries “Killing the Father”, which Coll directed and Calleja edited.