Celis Producing First TV Series, “Monstruos Perfectos”

Nicolas Celis is ready for the small screen…

The 30-year old Mexican film producer is preparing for his first television series, Monstruos Perfectos, which recently received development support from the Mexican Film Institute (IMCINE) under the new TV series support scheme launched in late 2016.

Nicolas Celis

Meanwhile, Celis’ Pimienta Films, one of Mexico’s leading production outfits, is completing production on Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma,” his first picture lensed in Mexico since “Y Tu Mama Tambien,” and “Birds of Passage,” from Colombia’s Oscar nominated Ciro Guerra (“Embrace of the Serpent”).

Monstruos Perfectos is set in Mexico and will be produced by Pimienta, with external producers Marion d’Ornato and Enrique M. Rizo. Rizo has worked with Celis as second assistant director on Semana Santa, and as production manager on Tempestad, Soy Nero and The Untamed.

“This will be my first experience in TV,” Celis revealed to Variety, although he refrained from outlining the story. “I’m really happy to jump aboard. For me this is completely new world. I really love that IMCINE is exploring new content opportunities. We want to make a TV series that’s much more cinematic, than TV series produced in Mexico so far.”

Celis said that it’s been great to work with Cuaron on Roma, having previously worked with his brother, Carlos, on “Rudo y Cursi,” early in his career, and having been one of the producers on the 2015 pic Desierto, by his son, Jonas.

“Roma” chronicles a year in the life of a middle-class family in Mexico City in the early 1970s and is produced by Cuaron, Celis, Gabriela Rodriguez (“Gravity”), and exec produced by Participant Media.

Roma is Celis’ first period movie. Its 1970s setting was prior to his own birth – in 1986 – which he says provoked some wisecracks during the shoot. “For me it’s been my most challenging and interesting project so far. I’m a big fan of Alfonso’s work since a kid and I loved that he wanted me to work on his new film.”

Guerra’s Birds of Passage is also set in the 1970s and is produced by Colombia’s Ciudad Lunar (Cristina Gallego and Katrin Pors), as well as Celis and Argentine producers MC Productions and Buffalo Films, with Colombia’s Caracol TV also on board.

Celis previously worked with Pors on The Untamed. “Working with Katrin has been a great discovery,” said Celis. “We’re trying to work with her on our next projects.”

A Band of Bitches Releases Desierto-Inspired Single “El Diablo Güero,” feat. Victoria Morales

A Band of Bitches is getting political…

The masked Mexican alternative group has released the single “El Diablo Güero,” a pro-immigrant, anti-Donald Trump song, featuring singer/songwriter and studio owner Victoria Morales.

A Band of Bitches

The funky pop-punk track was recorded to coincide with the current run in Mexican theaters of director Jonas Cuaron’s “migrant thriller,” Desierto, which will be the closing film at this year’s LA Film Festival.

The film, about Mexican workers trying to cross the border to the United States who are pursued in the desert by a murderous American vigilante (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). It stars Gael Garcia Bernal, well-known to American viewers from the Amazon series Mozart in the Jungle.

Morales wrote the bilingual song inspired by the film with Latin Grammy-nominated A Band of Bitches’ member Ushka at Cuaron’s request. “El Diablo Güero” is not, however, part of the film’s original soundtrack, whose layers of ominous and sublime music were composed by Woodkid.

“[Cuaron] sort of felt the need for [another] song that could really capture the entire film,” Morales told Billboard. “El Diablo Güero” was written and recorded in a few days, with production supervised by Cuaron at Morales’ Victoria Records Studio in Monterrey.

A Band of Bitches announced the debut of the new track alongside Cuaron and Morales at the Vive Latino festival in Mexico City; it was released to Mexican radio during the second week after the film premiered in theaters in April. The movie is still playing in Mexico.

The track samples lines from the film that Morales says had the most impact on her, particularly the words “welcome to the land of the free” spoken during one chilling scene.

Although journalists in Mexico have pointed out that the title could be a reference to Trump and his statements about Mexican immigrants, Morales maintains that it was the film’s American killer who inspired the song.

“In the end everyone is going to hear what they want to hear and make their own interpretation,” Morales says. “I think that it could become sort of an anthem, because of the relation of what’s happening in the United States and with the elections.”

Desierto is set for a commercial run on the U.S. sometime before the elections. A trailer for the film used an audio clip of Trump’s infamous Mexican “rapists” comment.

Cuaron, the son of Oscar-winner Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity), will next write and direct the Zorro sequel Z, also starring Garcia Bernal.

García Bernal Selected as Lead in Zorro Reboot

Gael García Bernal is the ultimate swashbuckler…

The 37-year-old Mexican American actor will star as the iconic lead character in a film entitled Z, the reboot of Zorro.

Gael Garcia Bernal

Garcia Bernal will come together again with filmmaker Jonás Cuarón for the project. Set in the near future, Z re-imagines the classic legend based on the beloved masked swashbuckler.

Cuarón’s Desierto, which stars García Bernal, will be released by STX Entertainment later in the year.

The project is written and will be directed by Cuarón and is eyeing a fall start at the Pinewood Dominican Republic studios.

García Bernal, who won a Golden Globe for Best Actor in his role in the Amazon series Mozart In The Jungle, was also in The Motorcycle Diaries and Babel.

The picture is being done as a co-production between Lantica Pictures and Mark Amin’s Sobini Films.

“I have always loved Gael for this role,” said Amin, who is producing with Lantica’s Albert Martínez Martín. “Zorro is a hero who is charming, witty and clever. Gael possesses all those characteristic and he’s able to deliver them with a modern spin to introduce the Zorro character to a new audience.”

Cuarón’s “Desierto” Selected as the LA Film Fest’s Closing Night Film

Jonás Cuarón’s award-winning film is headed to Los Angeles…

The Mexican filmmaker’s thriller Desierto will be the closing night film of the Los Angeles Film Festival on June. 9.

Jonás Cuarón

Cuarón co-wrote and directed the film which centers on Mexican migrant workers looking to seek a better life by crossing the US border. Their journey quickly becomes a fight for survival, when the unarmed men and women are chased across the desert terrain by a merciless rifle-toting vigilante.

Desierto stars Gael García Bernal, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Alondra Hidalgo and Diego Cataño.

It was previously shown at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, where it won the Prize of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) for Special Presentations.

The LA Film Fest runs from June 1 through June 9.

Cuarón to Write and Direct a New Take on “Zorro”

Jonás Cuarón is bringing a fictional Latino hero back to life…

The 34-year-old Mexican filmmaker and screenwriter and son of Alfonso Cuarón has been tapped to write and direct a new take on Zorro.

Jonas Cuaron

The film, titled Z, will be produced by Lantica Media and Sobini Films, and principal photography is set to start in the summer at Pinewood Dominican Republic Studios.

Cuarón co-penned Gravity with his father. He recently wrote directed the Toronto International Film Festival film Desierto, which won the Prize of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) for Special Presentations.

Lantica will finance, and Pantelion Films will handle international sales. The title will be up for grabs European Film Market in Berlin this month.

Cuaron’s Spanish-Language Drama “Desierto” Lands at STX Entertainment

It looks like Jonás Cuarón latest film will make its way north of the U.S.-Mexico border…

The 34-year-old Mexican film director and screenwriter’s latest project Desierto has landed at STX Entertainment.

Jonas Cuaron

The Spanish-language film centers on a group of immigrants trying to cross the border from Mexico into the United States when they encounter a man who has taken up border patrol duties in his own racist hands.

Desierto, which stars Gael Garcia Bernal and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, won the Prize of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) for Special Presentations at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

Cuarón, the son of Academy Award-winning film director and screenwriter Alfonso Cuarón, co-wrote his father’s Oscar-winning film Gravity.

STX Entertainment’s deal is for Desierto’s North American rights.

Cuarón to Helm His First English-Language Film, “Desierto”

Jonás Cuarón is heading to el desierto to direct his first Englaish-language film….

The Mexican filmmaker will direct Gael Garcia Bernal and Jeffrey Dean Morgan in thriller Desierto.

Jonás Cuarón

The story focuses on a group of illegal immigrants, one of which is portrayed by Bernal, who try to cross the border but run afoul of a man (Morgan) who has taken up border patrol duties in his own racist hands.

Cuarón, who co-wrote the awards contender Gravity with his father, Alfonso Cuarón.

Alfonso Cuarón, Carlos Cuarón and Alex Garcia are producing the film, which will be shot in Baja, California in February.

Bernal is exec producing along with Lucas Akoskin and Santiago Garcia Galvan.

Cuarón’s credits include Año uña and The Shock Doctrine.

García Bernal Starring in the Spanish-Language Film “Desierto”

Gael García Bernal is returning to his roots for his next project…

The 34-year-old Mexican actor will star in the Spanish-language film Desierto.

Gael Garcia Bernal

Jonas Cuarón — who co-wrote his father Alfonso Cuarón’s new sci-fi thriller Gravity — will direct the film, which tells the tale of illegal immigrants who cross into the U.S. and end up running from an American who has taken border patrol into his own hands.

While they fight for their lives, the two immigrants fall for each other.

Jonas Cuarón wrote the script with Mateo Garcia.