Begin Again Films Acquires Santiago Maza’s “State of Silence” Documentary

Santiago Maza’s latest project is going global…

Madrid-based Begin Again Films has acquired the Mexican documentary filmmaker-screenwriter’s State of Silence, produced by Diego Luna and La Corriente del Golfo, the shingle he runs with Gael García Bernal.

Santiago MazaThe sales agency and distributor, which acquired international rights with the exception of North America and Latin America, has also unveiled the film’s first trailer.

State of Silence, which traces the harrowing stories of four journalists who risk their lives in pursuit of truth and transparency in Mexico, will have its world premiere simultaneously this month at the Tribeca and Guadalajara Film Festivals before competing at the Sheffield DocFest for its European premiere.

Detailing the endangered state of press freedom in Mexico, the documentary follows the journalists’ journeys as they navigate treacherous terrain in their effort to shed light on the enduring suffering and anxiety experienced by their fellow citizens two decades after the so-called war on drugs began.

Their resolute commitment exposes them to the risk of reprisals as they willingly make themselves targets: Taking on the roles of investigators and chroniclers, they immerse themselves in the unimaginable violence perpetuated by a narco-political system formed by organized crime syndicates and corrupt local governments.

Mexico has for several years been one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists. Since the year 2000, 163 journalists have been murdered and another 32 have gone missing, according to British human rights organization Article 19. In 99% of cases, the murders of journalists remain unsolved.

“In a country like Mexico, where impunity reaches alarming levels, journalism becomes a fundamental pillar,” said Luna, who produced alongside Maza. “It is independent journalism that guides us towards the truth. Today, I can affirm that my civic consciousness has been largely shaped by the tireless work and courage of the journalistic profession in my country. Hence, my concern and indignation arise from the conditions under which they carry out their work, leading to the creation of this documentary as a tool to denounce this situation.”

“As a documentarian, I have always had great respect for journalists,” Maza added. “Their work shapes us. It allows us to understand the world, and often, we act or think based on their interpretation of events. In Mexico, mistreatment of journalists occurs on many levels, from discrediting the profession to the most lethal consequence. The fact that their commitment to the truth costs many of them their lives is unacceptable.”

Begin Again Films said, “This urgent and intimate portrait serves as a timely reminder that the freedom of the press must not be allowed to remain under siege anywhere in the world.”

Maza also directed La Corriente del Golfo’s documentary web series El Tema, about the impact of the climate crisis in Mexico.

Lucía Méndez Cast as Series Regular in Hulu’s Limited Series “La Máquina”

Lucía Méndez is a machine

The 67-year-old Mexican telenovela and film actress, top model and singer has been cast as a series regular opposite Jorge Perugorría in La Máquina, the Hulu limited series that follows an aging boxer (Gael García Bernal) whose crafty manager (Diego Luna) secures him one last shot at a title.

Lucía MéndezKarina Gidi, Raul Briones and Luis Gnecco have also joined the project in heavily recurring roles.

La Máquina is produced by Searchlight Television, 20th Television and Bernal and Luna’s La Corriente del Golfo.

It will stream on Disney’s DTC platforms as a Hulu Original in the U.S.

Marco Ramirez serves as executive producer and showrunner, with Bernal, Luna, Gerardo Gatica, Leandro Halperín, Adam Fishbach and Kyzza Terrazas onboard as executive producers. Gabriel Ripstein will direct.

Méndez will play Josefina, a woman from humble means but has pushed her way into upper class society. She smothers her son, Andy (Luna), constantly commenting on everything from his appearance to his business decisions.

Perugorría will play Sixto, an old school figure from the world of Cuban boxing, Sixto is Esteban’s (Bernal) long-time trainer, serving as a father figure and mentor to both Andy and Esteban.

Gidi will recur as Carlota who was born into a wealthy Mexican family and is married to Andy. Briones will recur as Juan Carlos, a grizzled police officer who navigates both sides of the law. Gnecco will recur as Facundo, an old-school journalist in a new-school world.

Méndez is a versatile performer with success in television, film and as a musical artist. She has released 32 albums since her start in 1975. Lucía’s Siempre Estoy Pensando En Ti (1976), sold a million copies. Her soap opera roles include Viviana (1978), Colorina (1980), and Vanessa (1982).

An accomplished actor, director and artist, Perugorría co-directed his first feature Afinidades in 2009 then wrote and directed his second film, Amor Crónico, in 2010. In 2011 he wrote, directed and starred in his third feature film, Se Vendewhich won the Audience Coral Award at the 34th Havana Latin American Film Festival. In 2014 he directed his fourth fiction feature Fátima o el Parque de la Fraternidad.

Gidi starred as Esperanza Barrientos in Un extrańo enemigo seasons one and two for Amazon Prime Video, and can be seen in HBO Max’s upcoming drama, Sierra Madre.

Briones’ work in the recent documentary Una Película de Policías earned him a nomination in the upcoming Ariel Awards for Best Actor.

Gnecco has appeared most recently in Aquí en la Tierra, Los EspookysEl Presidente and La Jauría.

Gael García Bernal & Diego Luna to Star in Hulu’s Spanish-Language Boxing Series “La Máquina”

Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna are ringing in a new project…

The 43-year-old Mexican actor and producer and the 42-year-old Mexican actor, singer, director, and producer will star in La Máquina, a Spanish-language boxing series for Hulu.

Gael García Bernal & Diego LunaBernal and Luna, who first worked together on Y Tu Mamá También, will star and produce the series for the streamer.

La Máquina is produced by Searchlight Television, the Disney-owned television arm of Searchlight Pictures and marks its third series for the streamer following The Dropout and History of the World, Part II.

Daredevils Marco Ramirez will serve as showrunner and Gabriel Ripstein will direct.

García Bernal and Luna will produce under their La Corriente del Golfo banner along with Gerardo Gatica, Leandro Halperin and Adam Fishbach.

La Máquina follows an aging boxer, played by García Bernal, whose crafty manager, played by Luna, secures him one last shot at a title.  But to make it to fight night, they must navigate a mysterious underworld force.

“We are proud to partner again with Searchlight Television on this forthcoming Hulu Original. Gael, Diego and Marco are world class storytellers and we look forward to bringing audiences their story and experiencing alongside them this last shot their characters get together,” said Craig Erwich, President, Hulu Originals and ABC Entertainment.

“It is a real honor to unite Gael and Diego onscreen again for La Máquina, their friendship and chemistry is a joy to experience,” added Searchlight Presidents Matthew Greenfield and David Greenbaum. “And we’re delighted to be working with Marco, whose unique voice and vision allows us to explore this world in a wholly original way.”

García Bernal recently starred in M. Night Shyamalan’s Old and HBO Max’s Station Eleven, while Luna was one of the voices in animated film DC League of Super Pets alongside Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart and stars in the upcoming Disney+ Star Wars series Andor.

 

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.