Diego Luna to Receive 2021 Platino Award of Honor

Diego Luna is being celebrated for his platinum career.

This year’s seventh edition of the Ibero-American Platino Awards (Premios Platinos) will honor the 41-year-old Mexican actor, director, producer and festival organizer with the Platino Award of Honor.

Diego Luna

An itinerant award show by design, this year’s Platinos will be held on October 3 in Madrid.

Luna will be the youngest recipient of the career achievement honor, joining previous winners Miguel Rafael Martos Sánchez, often simply referred to as Raphael, one of Spain’s most iconic entertainers of the 20th century; Adriana Barraza, the Oscar nominated Spanish-English-language crossover star of Alejandro Iñárritu’s Babel and Amores Perros; Oscar and three time Primetime Emmy nominee Edward James Olmos (Stand and Deliver); Oscar nominee Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory); and Primetime Emmy (The Burning Season) and BAFTA (“Dona Flor e Seus Dois Maridos) nominee Sonia Braga.

A child actor who excelled from an early age, Luna’s first film appearance was in Javier Bourges’ 1991 Mexican Academy Award-nominated short The Last New Year.” He appeared in several telenovelas throughout the ‘90s, joined on screen for the first time by his longtime collaborator and close friend Gael García Bernal in El abuelo y yo in 1992. Alternating between film and television over the next decade, his international breakout came with García Bernal and Spain’s Marbel Verdú in Alfonso Cuarón’s seminal coming-of-age road trip film “Y Tu Mamá También.”

Shortly after, Luna began his Hollywood career appearing alongside Bon Jovi in John Carpenter’s Vampires: Los Muertos and in Salma Hayek’s Oscar-winning biopic Frida.

In the decades since, Luna has continued to work on both Latin American and U.S. productions while also taking turns as a producer, writer and director. He also, again with García Bernal, launched the nomadic documentary film festival Ambulante, as well as their own production label, first Canana in 2005 and now La Corriente del Golfo.

Most recently, he created and hosts the Amazon Original conversation series Pan y Circo and is starring in the Disney+’s Andor, a spinoff series following his Rogue One: A Star Wars Story character Cassian Andor.

He was also recently confirmed as a voice actor for Netflix’s upcoming animated series Maya and the Three, where he will team with frequent collaborator Jorge Gutierrez (The Book of Life).

Last year’s ceremony was, like so many, forced online by the COVID-19 pandemic. But this time around, the Platinos are planning an in-person event to celebrate the best offerings from the Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American screen industries.

At 11 nominations each, the two standout titles are Fernando Trueba’s Colombian drama Memories of My Father and Jayro Bustamante’s Guatemalan thriller La Llorona.

The Platino Awards are promoted by EGEDA (Spain’s Entity for the Rights Management of Audiovisual Producers) and FIPCA (the Ibero-American Federation of Film and Audiovisual Producers) and have the support of the Ibero-American film academies and institutes as well as numerous sponsors in Europe and Latin America.

Roberta Colindrez to Star in Amazon’s Film “Cassandro,” About The Liberace of Lucha Libre

Roberta Colindrez is preparing for the Lucha of her life…

The 35-year-old Mexican actress will star opposite Gael Garcia Bernal in his Amazon film about “The Liberace of Lucha Libre”, Cassandro.

Roberta Colindrez

Colindrez will play best friends with Bernal’s Saúl Armendáriz as she finds community in the Lucha Libre world training young fighters.

The film, produced by Ted Hope and Todd Black, is shooting in Mexico City.

Cassandro, directed by Oscar and Emmy-winning filmmaker Roger Ross Williams, tells the true story of Armendáriz, a gay amateur wrestler from El Paso who rises to international stardom after he creates the “exotico” character Cassandro, the “Liberace of Lucha Libre,” and in the process upends not just the macho wrestling world but also his own life.

Armendáriz at the age of 15 quit school and began training for Lucha Libre, beginning his professional wrestling career in 1988 under the mask as Mister Romano. Ultimately he would abandon the character and take on the exotico character of Baby Sharon. Exoticos are male wrestlers who dress in drag.

Colindrez is best known for her work in the Tony award winning musical Fun Home as well as her stand-out roles in Amazon’s I Love Dick, FX’s Mrs. America, Starz’s Vida, and HBO’s The Deuce.

Colindrez will next star in the Amazon series, A League of Their Own

Gael Garcia Bernal to Portray Salvador Dali in New Podcast “Playboy Interview”

Gael Garcia Bernal’s art is about to imitate art life…

The 42-year-old Mexican actor and producer is joining a slew of stars who’ll portray famous figures across history in a new podcast series from Playboy and Audio Up.

Gael García Bernal

The two companies are launching Playboy Interview, an audio series that features teleplay-style re-enactments of the most iconic Playboy interview conversations.

In addition to Garcia Bernal, other stars set to take part in the program are Rosanna ArquetteTaye DiggsMaya Hawke, Shea Whigham, Michael Shannon, Kevin Corrigan and Gina Gershon.

The series, which is set to debut in September, will see Arquette voice feminist pioneer Betty Friedan, Diggs will portray Muhammad Ali, Garcia Bernal plays Salvador Dali, Shannon is Tennessee Williams, Shea Whigham is John Wayne, Maya Hawke is Helen Gurley Brown, Kevin Corrigan is Frank Sinatra and Gina Gershon is Oriana Fallaci.

The first two episodes will feature “conversations” with Friedan and Ali.

The series is based on the classic Playboy Interview, which started in 1962 with Alex Haley’s conversation with Miles Davis and has run for more than 500 interviews including the likes of Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Fidel Castro, Bob Dylan, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Steve Jobs, Whoopi Goldberg and Maya Angelou.

“Working on the Playboy Interview was an incredible experience,” said Maya Hawke, who also portrays Ayn Rand in the second season, which is likely to launch in early 2022. “I got the rare opportunity to portray two of history’s most influential, controversial, and complicated women. I was allowed to inhabit the characters rather than being asked to impersonate them, which left me thinking about their respective perspectives for weeks after. And I felt inspired. Even if I don’t agree with them about everything, or anything – their strength, persistence, and insistence on being exactly who they are has reminded me to be exactly who I am.”

“Playboy is culturally iconic for many reasons, but their in-depth interviews and journalistic integrity is a large part of what has made the publication so cool,” said Gina Gershon. “I was so happy to work on a project that celebrates Playboy’s historic interviews with so many incredible individuals. I’ve always been fascinated by Oriana Fallaci, and was so excited to be able to take part in bringing her interviews to life. It was so much fun to explore this remarkable woman and share her point of view with the world.”

“We couldn’t be more excited to unveil the first season of the Playboy Interview podcast,” added Rachel Webber, Chief Brand Officer at PLBY Group and producer of the series. “Audio is the perfect format for these intimate and revealing conversations. Each brilliant performance by this incredible cast gives you chills, making you feel like you’re right there in the room as history unfolds.”

“This podcast is the culmination of a personal journey for me having spent seven years as Playboy’s editorial director,” added Audio Up’s Chief Creative Officer Jimmy Jellinek, who adapted, produced and directed all 10 episodes of season one. “Thanks to the explosion of audio as a medium, today we’re able to reintroduce these incredible conversations to a new generation. I have long thought the Playboy Interview would lend itself perfectly to formats off the page. In my wildest dreams I didn’t anticipate that something this magical would be the result.”

“We’ve paired the greatest conversations of the 20th century with the greatest actors of the 21st. Audio Up is in the business of pushing the boundaries of audio entertainment and this project exemplifies that mission in every way,” said Audio Up founder and Chief Executive Officer Jared Gutstadt.

Adriana Barraza to Star in Amazon Studios’ ‘Welcome To The Blumhouse’ Anthology Horror Film “Bingo”

Adriana Barraza is playing bingo

The 65-year-old Mexican Oscar-nominated actress will serve up some scares in Amazon Studios’ next slate of films in the horror anthology Welcome To The Blumhouse. Barraza will star in Bingo directed and co-written by rising genre filmmaker Gigi Saul Guerrero. The film is currently in production.

Adriana Barraza

The collaboration is a Latinx-driven narrative that includes two generations of Mexican artists. In this case, Barraza and the up and comer Guerrero.

Set in the barrio of Oak Springs, Bingo follows a strong and stubborn group of elderly friends who refuse to be gentrified.  Barraza plays the leader of the pack, Lupita, a “chingona” who grew up in the neighborhood formerly filled with crime and dangerous characters. Lupita has dedicated her life to cleaning up the neighborhood and creating a community the residents could be proud to call home. Little does Lupita and her friends know, their beloved bingo hall (hence the title) is about to be sold to a much more powerful force than money itself.

Bingo continues Amazon Prime Video’s Welcome to the Blumhouse slate of genre, horror-thriller films highlighting female and emerging filmmakers, and diverse casts with new and established actors in unexpected roles. The upcoming 2021 slate for the anthology also includes The Manor, Black as Night, and Madres

Guerrero co-wrote Bingo with Shane McKenzie and Perry Blackshear. The film comes from Blumhouse Television and Amazon Studios.

Prime Video launched the Welcome to the Blumhouse in October of last year with Black
Box
, The Lie, Evil Eye and Nocturne.

Barraza’s career spans more than 40 years in film, television and theater. In 1999, Barraza starred in a breakout role opposite Gael Garcia Bernal in Amores Perros directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu, who she worked with again in 2006 on BabelShe is one of only six Mexican actresses to ever receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

Juan Ernesto Regalado Morales Wins Guillermo del Toro’s Jenkins-del Toro Scholarship

Juan Ernesto Regalado Morales is celebrating a special honor…

The Mexican filmmaker is this year’s winner of the Jenkins-del Toro Scholarship, which is awarded through an agreement between the Jenkins Foundation; the board of trustees of the Guadalajara International Film Festival, the University of Guadalajara, the University of Guadalajara AC Foundation and Oscar-winner Guillermo del Toro.

Nendok entre lagunas,

With the honor, Regalado Morales receives a $60,000 scholarship.

Regalado received the honor in recognition of his first film Nendok entre lagunas, which was featured at Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal’s Ambulante Festival, and was described by the jury as “a work that demonstrates a transformative point of view, visual quality, a decisive capacity and commitment to his community and society.”

The film was selected by a jury that included del Toro, his longtime producer Beth Navarro, Mexican scream queen Issa Lopez, animator Jose Solorzano, film critic Silvestre Lopez Portillo and actor Daniela Schmidt.

Wagner Moura Signs with William Morris Endeavor (WME)

It’s a new endeavor for Wagner Moura

The 44-year-old Brazilian actor, filmmaker, musician and journalist has signed with William Morris Endeavor (WME).

Wagner Moura

Moura, a Golden Globe nominee for his role as Pablo Escobar in the Netflix acclaimed series Narcos, was previously represented by UTA.

He can currently be seen starring in two Netflix films; Sergio, which he also produced, and Wasp Network, opposite Penelope Cruz and Gael Garcia Bernal.

Wagner made his directorial debut with Marighella, which premiered at the 2019 Berlin Film Festival.

His other credits include Walter SallesBehind The Sun for Miramax, Sony’s Elysium, opposite Matt Damon, and Jose Padilha’s Elite Squad, which won the Golden Bear at the 2008 Berlin Film Festival.

Gael Garcia Bernal to Star as Saul Armendariz, aka the Liberace of Lucha Libre, in the Biopic “Cassandro”

Gael García Bernal is hitting the ring to play a Lucha Libre legend.

The 41-year-old Mexican actor/filmmaker will star in Cassandroan independent feature from Oscar winning and two-time Emmy nominee filmmaker Roger Ross Williams.

Gael García Bernal

Cassandro tells the true story of Saúl Armendáriz, a gay amateur wrestler from El Paso who rises to international stardom after he creates the “exotico” character Cassandro, the “Liberace of Lucha Libre,” and in the process upends not just the macho wrestling world but also his own life.

Armendáriz at the age of 15 quit school and began training for Lucha Libre, beginning his professional wrestling career in 1988 under the mask as Mister Romano. Ultimately he would abandon the character and take on the exotico character of Baby Sharon. Exoticos are male wrestlers who dress in drag.

Ultimately, Armendáriz would take the new ring name of Cassandro, from a Tijuana brothel keeper Cassandra whom he appreciated.

In January 1991, after bad press that he was going to wrestle El Hijo del Santo in the UWA World Welterweight Championship, Armendáriz reportedly attempted suicide by cutting his wrists with a razor blade, but was saved.

The title match occurred a week later and Armendáriz credits it as the match that earned him the lucha libre community’s acceptance.

While Cassandro failed to win the UWA World Welterweight Championship from El Hijo del Santo, he managed to win his first title, the UWA World Lightweight Championship in October 1992, by defeating Lasser, becoming the first exótico in history to hold a championship in UWA.

Bernal, who will star in M. Night Shyamalan’s new secret movie from Universal, will shoot that movie first before stepping into the ring for Cassandro, which is eyeing a November start in Mexico.

Cassandro will rep the feature narrative directorial debut for Williams, who took home the Oscar for his short docu Music by Prudence in 2010, and recently was nominated at the Emmys a second time, this time in Outstanding Documentary/Nonfiction Special category for the HBO doc The Apollo. That movie, which made its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival last year, follows the historic and famed Harlem NYC venue and its legacy.

“As a filmmaker, my own life experience has inspired my passion to tell inspirational stories about outsiders and uplift the voices of people we don’t normally see on screen. The true story of Cassandro, Saúl Armendáriz, was one I knew I wanted to tell from the moment I met him. I look forward to being able to bring Saúl’s story to a wide audience,” said Williams.

Williams wrote Cassandro with Emmy-winner David Teague and Julián Herbert (Satelite).

Bernal is a two-time Golden Globe nominee and winner for the Amazon series Mozart in the JungleHe was part of the SAG ensemble nominated cast of Paramount’s Babeland a BAFTA nominee for Focus Features’ 2004 The Motorcycle Diaries

The filmmakers are reportedly in talks with Amazon to acquire Cassandro once complete, but that deal is contingent on several factors before it’s a negative pick-up.

Gael García Bernal to Star in Good Film Collective’s “People of the Book” Film

Gael García Bernal is hittin’ the book(s)…

The 41-year-old Mexican actor and producer will star in People of the Book, a film that Good Films Collective has put together, based on the New York Times bestseller from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks.

Gael García Bernal

Garcia Bernal will star opposite Nazanin Boniadi and Jason Isaacs will star in the film, which tells the moving history behind the creation of the Sarajevo Haggadah— an illuminated manuscript that contains the illustrated traditional text of the Passover Haggadah which accompanies the Passover Seder

It originated in Barcelona in 1350, and the film will tell the journey taken by people from different cultures and religions who risked their lives to save it. 

The film will be helmed by Academy Award winner Danis Tanovic and is written by Petter Skavlan.

Tenoch Huerta to Star in Amazon Studio’s Untitled Cortes/Moctezuma Series

Tenoch Huerta is exploringa whole new role…

The 39-year-old Mexican actor will star alongside Javier Bardem in the untitled Cortés and Moctezuma project from Amazon Studios and Amblin Television.

Tenoch Huerta

Yoshira Escárrega has also been cast in the project. 

The limited series will be a four-hour epic drama that maps the inexorable march and eventual clash between Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortésand Aztec Emperor Moctezuma II, leading to the annihilation of an empire and tragic downfall of a civilization that took centuries to build, but less than two years to destroy.

Oscarwinner Bardem was announced in the role of Cortés last year and will also serve as an executive producer on the project.

Huerta will play Moctezuma, the Emperor of the Aztecs. Escárrega will play Marina, strategic partner, translator and consort to Hernán Cortés.

From Amazon Studios and Amblin Television, the limited series is created for television and written by Academy Award-winner Steven Zaillian and based on the screenplay by Dalton Trumbo. The series is directed by Ciro Guerraand Cristina Gallego

Bardem will executive produce alongside Zaillian, Gael García BernalDiego Luna and more.

Huerta recently wrapped filming a starring role in the Blumhousefeature film, Borderline, the latest installment in the Purge franchise. He’s known for his role as the infamous Rafael Caro Quintero in Netflix’s Narcos: Mexico, opposite Diego Luna and Michael Pena. He also appeared in a key role in the Paul Weitz-directed Bel Canto, which starred Julianne Mooreand Ken Watanabe

Escárrega is a film and theater actress born in Mazatlán, Sinaloa and a graduate of Escuela Nacional de Arte Teatral. Her latest work in television includes notable roles in Aquí en la Tierra directed by Gael García Bernal for Fox Premium Latinoaméricaand Dani Who for Paramount Channel Latinoamérica. She recently worked in films with acclaimed directors Alonso Ruiz Palaciosand Ximena Montemayor

Music Box Films to Release Pablo Larraín’s “Ema” in U.S. Theaters Next Summer

Pablo Larraín latest film is headed to the U.S.

Music Box Filmshas acquired the U.S. distribution rights to the 43-year-old Chilean filmmaker’s Venice Film Festival drama Ema, starring newcomer Mariana Di GirolamoGael García Bernaland Santiago Cabrera.

Pablo Larraín

Music Box plans to release the Sundance Film Festival-bound drama in theaters in summer 2020. 

Ema charts a woman’s odyssey of personal liberation after a shocking incident upends her family life and marriage to a tempestuous choreographer.

“I feel proud and excited to be working again with Music Box Films, a wonderful company for a movie like Emain the USA,” said feted Chilean director Larraín. “It’s truly amazing.” 

The distributor previously released Larrain’s 2015 film The Club.

“This is one of those films that you have to see to believe,” added Music Box Films’ president William Schopf. “Entirely singular, hypnotic, and compelling, it’s a film that absolutely seduces the senses.”

Emamarks the third collaboration between Larraín and García Bernal, after they previously worked together on No(2012) and Neruda(2016).