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.
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.
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.