AFM 2012: Gael Garcia Bernal, Alice Braga Board 'The Ardor'

 ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/GettyImages

Gael Garcia Bernal, the star of Chilean Oscar hopeful No is set to star alongside Alice Braga (I Am Legend) in The Ardor, a modern-day Western directed by Argentine helmer Pablo Fendrik.

Bac Films International has taken international sales rights on the project and is shopping the script to buyers at AFM.

The feature — Fendrik's follow-up to Blood Appears, which was a highlight of Critics’ Week at Cannes in 2008 — is described as a tale of survival and revenge set in in the Amazon jungle.

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Garcia Bernal will play a lone Amazon shaman who stumbles across a tobacco farmer and his stunning daughter (Braga) in the jungle. When a roving band of deforesters attacks the farm, killing the farmer and taking the daughter hostage, Garcia Bernal's character swears revenge. Both in its budget and mainstream ambition, The Ardor marks a step up for art house favorite Fendrik.

Nathalia Videla Pena and Juan-Pablo Gugliotta of Argentine production company Magma Cine will head up the production with Garcia Bernal's Mexico-based Canana shingle, Brazil's Bananeira Filmes, Alba Produzioni of Italy and France's Manny Films as co-producers. The Ardor begins shooting in the Amazon in March for a planned fall 2013 release.

Bac Films' AFM slate also features Baltasar Kormakur's true-life survival tale The Deep, Iceland's contender for the 2013 foreign-language film Oscar and After Lucia from Mexican director Michel Franco, which won top honors in Cannes' Un Certain Regard section in May.

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