Uruguay’s already expanding industry still has plenty of room to grow and looks primed to do so with its new financing pilot program about to be extended until 2025 and a host of companies who cut their teeth in international co-production.
Below, Variety highlights twelve Uruguayan companies with outstanding resumes in both domestic and international production likely to usher in a new era of film and TV prominence.
Cimarrón is a pan Latin-American alliance between established producers Hernán Musaluppi, Diego Robino and Santiago López. From their offices in Montevideo, Buenos Aires and São Paulo, the company has backed six films since 2017, including Argentine Academy Award and San Sebastian Horizons-winner “The Snatch Thief” and Miguel Cohan’s Netflix Original feature “Blood Will Tell.” Currently Cimarrón has two films in post-production, Martín Boulocq’s “El visitante” and Rafa Russo’s “El año de la furia.”
Coral Cine focuses on true stories featuring current themes and universal narratives. A player at this year’s digital Marché du Film, Coral’s impressive list of upcoming features includes Mercedes Sader’s “Children of the Mountain” and Andrés Varela’s “Benedetti, Sixty Years with Light.” Having produced five seasons of “Boliches – El Corazón del barrio” for local broadcaster Canal 10 between 2013-18, the company will return to the small screen with its upcoming WWII series project “Graf Spee,” announced by Variety at the 2020 Conecta Fiction Reboot.
Producer Micaela Solé and Berlin Silver Bear-winning actor Daniel Hendler co-founded Cordón in 2007 to produce fiction and documentary feature films, typically in co-production with other major Latin American indies. Recently, they have shifted to TV as well, led by the upcoming Daniel Hendler-written mockumentary series “Guia 19272.” Also in the pipeline are DocsBarcelona award-winning documentary “A Great Trip to a Small Country” and “Broken Glasses Theory,” a fiction feature currently in post.
Run by Esteban Schroeder and Leandro Barneche, La Suma has a wealth of experience producing for both the national and international markets in fiction, documentary and stop motion animation. La Suma’s upcoming slate includes Susana Lastreto Prieto’s live-action feature “Aquel infinito jardín,” stop-motion family feature “Pueblo Chico” and a massive, six-country-spanning documentary series in the works focusing on craftsmen of musical instruments titled “Luthiers” from cinematographer Leandro Barneche.
Founders Eugenia Olascuaga and Valentina Baracco have impressed with documentaries such has “Opera prima” and “Frozen Man,” participants at several prestigious international festivals including Visions du Réel, DocsMX and FIDBA among others. The company’s upcoming documentary “Eight Stories About Hearing Loss” is now in post-production, having won financial support from the Sundance post-production fund. Fiction feature “Slaughterman,” from award-winning filmmakers Rafael Antonaccio and Bernardo Antonaccio (“In the Quarry”) is in development.
Montelona was founded with a focus on social issue films told from under-represented points of view. The company’s most recent high-profile success, Lucía Garibaldi’s breakout debut feature “The Sharks,” scored the Directing Award at last year’s Sundance Festival. Current Montelona projects include Garibaldi’s follow-up “The Last Queen”; 2018 San Sebastian WIP “Mateina”; Diego Blanco’s “Pollen,” an ICAU Film and Audiovisual Development Fund-winner; and Elisa Barbosa Riva’s documentary feature debut “The Black Box.”
Mother Superior Films
Breaking out with 2010’s real-time “La Casa Muda” which moved waves at Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, director Gustavo Hernández and producer Ignacio Cucucovich remain at the forefront of Latin American genre with movies such as 2017’s drug-fueled “Fiesta Nibiru,” 2018’s chiller “You Shall Not Sleep” and 2020 Cannes Online zombie outbreak thriller “Virus 32.” A stand-out for its ability to work with international co-producers, Mother Superior boasts an impressive project slate of seven features and a short at various stages of development or production, and a history of fruitful co-production and collaboration with partners such as Santiago Segura’s Bowfinger in Spain and Guido Rud’s FilmSharks Intl. in Argentina.
Founded in 2011 by Agustina Chiarino and Fernando Epstein, Mutante has extensive experience in the production and co-production of feature films, building a 17-title catalog of features and shorts, headlined by Marcelo Martinessi 2018 hit “The Heiresses,” a prizewinner at Berlin, San Sebastian and just about every festival it played globally. Currently, the company is developing its first fiction series “Private Lives” with Ana Guevara, which won a $66,000 development prize from the Fund for the Promotion and Development of National Audiovisual Production.
Nadador Cine is the collaboration of producers Pedro Barcia and Juan José López, founded in 2016. Recent works include Federico Veiroj’s San Sebastian Zabaltegi-Tabakalera player “Belmonte” and TV series “El mundo de los videos” and “Todos detrás de Momo.” Currently, Nadador has two features in development, Cannes award-winning filmmaker Pablo Stoll’s “This Summer’s Hit” and Ganz’s upcoming feature “Quién se acuerda de Sylvie Mangin?” and in post, “El empleado y el patrón” from Manuel Nieto (“The Militant”).
For the past decade Raindogs has done a bit of everything: Fiction, documentary, and animation for both feature films and TV series. Raindogs is putting the finishing touches to “El Gran Pipícucú,” a hand puppet program for kids, and is developing a new animated series “Hombre Público,” both awarded with public funding in Uruguay. The company is also developing Julián Goyoaga’s “Variaciones de Koch” and Germán Tejeira’s “Vender o morir,” with Tejeira’s “Luz de obra” currently in production.
Founded in 1994 to produce advertising, Mariana Secco’s Salado got into the feature film business in 2003, shifting to high end films popular at festivals and the box office alike. Most recently, the company backed Álvaro Brechner’s Argentine Academy Award-winner “A Twelve Year Night,” which wowed at Berlin, Venice, San Sebastian and several other international festivals in 2018. The company’s biggest push into high-end international TV comes in the form “Conquest,” a Netflix Original co-produced with Keanu Reeves.
Focused on auteur cinema, Tarkiofilm productions regularly feature at arthouse festivals. The company’s most recent production, Juan Alvarez Neme’s “The Smelting of Time,” won Best Latin American Film at Bafici in 2019. Agustin Banchero’s “Hilda’s Short Summer” and Emilio Silva Torres’ “Straight to VHS,” are looking for distribution while Florencia Colman’s “Nostalgia for the Future,” Agustín Banchero’s “Las muertes pasajeras” and “The Transparency” from Emilio Silva Torres are all in development. Neme’s next, “Street of the Fireflies,” is in pre-production.