8 May 2014 12:23 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Pablo Fendrik’s “El Ardor,” an Amazon-set Western action adventure and Participant Media’s first investment under its Participant PanAmerica initiative, will play as a Special Screening at this year’s Cannes Festival.

The third feature from Fendrik, whose “Blood Appears” played Cannes’ Critics’ Week, “El Ardor” stars Gael Garcia Bernal as an Amazon rainforest settler, Kai, who befriends a tobacco farmer and his beautiful daughter (Alice Braga). When a band of brutal mercenaries slaughter the father and kidnap the daughter, Kai sets out to rescue her.

In both Fendrik’s move into more mainstream filmmaking and the film’s financing structure, which takes in regional co-production plus funding from the U.S. and Europe, “El Ardor” reps a step up in scale and ambition for Latin America. Variety talked with Fendrik in the run-up to Cannes.

Variety: “El Ardor” is a Western, and classic Hollywood Westerns often had a theme of civilizing the wild. »


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