New Production Facility to Be Built in Mexico

3:35 PM PST 07/23/2013 by John Hecht
Model of production facility Fabrica GIFF

The indie-focused studio will include a sound stage and postproduction suites.

MEXICO CITY -- A multimillion-dollar studio capable of hosting sizeable Hollywood indie films will be built just outside the Mexican colonial city of San Miguel de Allende.

Construction on the multifunction complex, known as Fabrica GIFF, will begin in January, said former Guanajuato state film commissioner Sarah Hoch.

"It's a one-stop facility that could house a $50-million indie film," she said and "could easily accommodate a film like Once Upon a Time in Mexico, which shot in San Miguel in an old glass factory when I was film commissioner."

Hoch currently heads the fast-growing Guanajuato International Film Festival, which runs from July 19-27. Guests this year include Danny Boyle, Darren Aronofsky and Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler.

Thanks to Guanajuato’s ties with top-tier festivals such as Sundance, Cannes, Rotterdam and Berlin, Hoch said the production facility will serve to host a residency program for international directors and screenwriters. Both Coogler and Beasts of the Southern Wild writer-director Benh Zeitlin expressed interest in the screenwriting residency program.

The residency program also is drawing interest from Lemon Films and Canana Films, two of Mexico’s leading producers. Lemon would like to develop comedies at Fabrica GIFF, while Canana, the shingle owned by Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna, is leaning more toward the horror film genre.

Financed with public and private funds, the $16-million studio will be fully operational in about two years.

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