4 items from 2013
I originally included this in last year’s predictions’ list, but the team took their time in the post-production phase which might, in the end, make for some better packaging as with this pre-buzz NYTimes piece. During that time, Lionsgate nabbed the title, loaded this on their Pantelion Films label for a possible April rollout and gave the film a bulkier title (Cesar Chavez: An American Hero). While this no longer becomes a high value acquisition title, Luna’s association with the fest is strong (he presented his debut film Abel at the fest in 2010) and Participant Media’s has a strong rapport with Park City previously supplying the fest with socially conscious docs.
Gist: Written by Keir Pearson, the inspirational story of Cesar Chavez (played by Michael Peña), the celebrated Mexican American activist who, at great personal cost, put the shameful treatment of his fellow field workers on the map. »
- Eric Lavallee
Following supporting turns in films like Crash, End of Watch, The Lincoln Lawyer and Gangster Squad, Mexican-American actor Michael Peña is taking the lead in Cesar Chavez: An American Hero. As you might guess, in the film, Peña plays labor activist Cesar E. Chavez as he organizes the largest non-violent protest in U.S. history for farm workers' rights. Actor Diego Luna directs the film backed by Canana Films, the company behind Miss Bala (which was on our list of the 19 Best Movies You Didn't See in 2011). It looks like a great performance from Peña, but since it's arriving next spring, it isn't in the Oscar race. Watch it! Here's the first trailer for Diego Luna's Cesar Chavez: An American Hero from YouTube: Cesar Chavez: An American Hero is directed by Diego Luna (director of Abel, star of The Terminal, Y Tu Mamá También) and written by Keir Pearson »
- Ethan Anderton
Gist: Written by Keir Pearson, the inspirational story of Cesar Chavez, the celebrated Mexican American activist who, at great personal cost, put the shameful treatment of his fellow field workers on the map. He took their cause to the powerful Californian land-owners, the state government and beyond. A complicated man with a mission, Chavez never gave up. His extraordinary journey changed the history of unionism, labour conditions and the civil rights movement forever. The mostly English language project features Rosario Dawson, Gabriel Mann, America Ferrera and Michael Peña as Chavez.
Prediction: Filming began in April of 2012, and neither Sundance or Berlin became the lieu for the world premiere screening. Seeing that Luna did showcased Abel at the fest in an out of comp slot back in 2010, perhaps an Un Certain regard scenario is in the cards for the actor-producer-filmmaker.
- Eric Lavallee
Actors Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal have a lot in common. In addition to being Mexican heartthrobs and best friends since birth, they are also both budding directors who co-own Canana Productions, a company that has produced projects helmed by each. Most recently, the company co-produced a two-part short film project for Chivas Regal, with Luna directing the first segment, released earlier this week, and Bernal directing the second, as-of-yet-unreleased segment. And now you can take a look at what they've made. "Drifting" is helmed by Luna and marks his English language directorial debut. The story centers on three old friends and a surprise visit before one in the trio’s impending marriage. Previous directing credits for Luna include “J.C. Chavez,” a documentary about the famous Mexican boxer, and “Abel,” a drama that showed at Sundance and was generally well-received. His next feature will be his highest-profile project yet. »
- Tess Hofmann
4 items from 2013
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