Here’s your chance to learn about the man behind the living legend that is Ruben Blades…
The 67-year-old Panamanian singer will be the focus of a docu-feature from Abner Benaim’s Apertura Films and Gema Juarez Allen’s Gema Films.
Entitled Ruben Blades Is Not My Name, the film about the Grammy– and Latin Grammy-winning salsa singer/composer is currently shooting in New York, will then segue to Panama and other Latin American countries.
Benaim, who helmed Panama’s 2014 Oscar entry Invasion, is directing.
Ruben Blades Is Not My Name turns on a multi-faceted figure who wrote and performed what was then the best-selling salsa album in history, 1978’s Siembra, was educated at Harvard University, was and is a political activist, and made a run for Panamanian president in 1994, obtaining 20% of the votes. He has enjoyed a second career as an actor, is currently playing Daniel Salazar in Fear the Waking Dead.
“The arc of the story is still playing itself out, but it will definitely be related to the history of Latin America in the past 50 years, of which Ruben has been a witness and an active part of,” said Benaim.
“We will concentrate on his music and particularly his lyrics and their effect on those who’ve listened to them, danced to them, thought about them, and were somehow shaped by them.”
“By way of its format, Ruben Blades Is Not My Name will include interviews with Ruben, other musicians and artists, friends and family and will use lots of incredible archive footage from concerts, daily life, politics, films and more,” Benaim added, saying that the docu-feature will also shoot Blades offstage as a man, “as someone who lives a private life also.”
Ruben Blades Is Not My Name is “a film full of rhythm, music and good stories -with the most remarkable characters. Ruben is a wonderful storyteller, so it will be a very entertaining and moving piece that will travel wherever there are fans of Ruben and beyond,” added Juarez Allen.
Panamanian TV station TVN is backing the docu-feature. Producers are in talks with co-producers from the U.S. and Latin America and sales agents for worldwide rights, per Benaim.