Lucrecia Martel's Project 'Zama' Swaps Top Producer (Exclusive)

1:51 PM PST 12/20/2013 by Agustin Mango

Benjamin Domenech and Santiago Gallelli board production as local legend Lita Stantic steps down from the period film co-produced by Almodovar's El Deseo.

BUENOS AIRES – Lita Stantic, longtime producer with Argentine-renowned helmer Lucrecia Martel, has stepped down from the director’s awaited fourth project Zama. The film will now be headed by Rei Cine’s Benjamin Domenech and Santiago Gallelli, in association with Pedro and Agustin Almodovar’s El Deseo (Spain), MPM Films (France), Bananeira (Brazil), and Louverture (USA).

The news was confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter by Domenech, who also shared that the project has recently been awarded with the Aide aux cinémas du monde funds from France’s CNC, and is expected to shoot in mid-to-late 2014, in the Argentine North East.

Zama is an adaptation of Antonio Di Benedetto’s novel set in the 19th century, about Don Diego de Zama, a 17th century official of the Spanish crown stationed in Asuncion del Paraguay, who awaits his transfer to the city of Buenos Aires. 

This will then be the second film by Martel that is not produced by Stantic, a living legend in the Argentine film industry, who produced landmark local films like Maria Luisa Bemberg’s Camila, as well as the early works of young directors that fueled the New Argentine Cinema in the 1990s –such as Pablo Trapero’s Crane World and Adrian Caetano’s Bolivia. Stantic’s association with Martel became a trademark duo in the helmer’s awarded opera prima The Swamp (2000) and her 2004 follow up The Holy Girl, in which the Almodovar brothers joined as co-producers, and stayed as such for Martel's next feature, The Headless Woman, which competed in Cannes in 2008.

Rei Cine’s previous credits include Gonzalo Tobal’s 2012 Cannes-entry Villegas and Jazmin Lopez’ Lions, which competed in Venice last year.

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