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


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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