In a groundbreaking move, Constanza Arena, the former executive director of CinemaChile, has established Agencia La Luz, an agency and project incubator that will represent in international markets many of Chile’s foremost writing, directing and acting talents.
Many writers are connected to Chile’s fast-growing premium drama/audio scene. Julio Rojas, one Agencia La Luz client, created and wrote “Case 63,” Spotify’s most-listened-to scripted original podcast in Latin America, with an English-language version I the works starring Julianne Moore and Oscar Isaac, and co-wrote Pablo Fendrik’s Latino sci-fi series ‘The Shelter,’ from Starzplay, Pantaya, Fabula, Fremantle.
Enrique Videla and Paula del Fierro co-wrote Lucia Puenzo’s “La Jauría” for Fabula and Fremantle, while Videla, one of Chile’s biggest go-to scribes, co-wrote “Dignity” for Germany’s Joyn, “42 Days of Darkness” for Fabula and Netflix, “The Shelter” and “The Cliff” for The Mediapro Studio.
Agencia La Luz’s director lineup likewise takes in largely young on-the-rise talent which has broken out with early movies. Actor-turned-director Manuela Martelli made an impressive feature debut as a helmer with “1976” which world premiered at Cannes Directors’ Fortnight this year, scoring 100% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.
Theo Court’s second feature, “White on White,” won the Venice Horizons best director award, and was chosen as Chile Oscar entry.
A brace of La Luz talents have been swooped on by “Spencer” producer Fabula, Pablo and Juan de Dios Larraín’s premium movie and series production powerhouse, to lead titles for major streamers.
Pepa San Martin, who won the Berlin Festival’s Generation Kplus Grand Prix and San Sebastians Horizontes Latinos with her debut “Rara,” is now co-directing with Sergio Castro (“La Mujer de Barro”), another Luz client, “Llévame al cielo,” from Fábula and Disney+s first series to be shot entirely in Chile.
Of actors, Paula Luchsinger headlines Pablo Larrain’s next movie “El Conde”; Renata Gonzalez Spraljic heads “Llévame al cielo.”
Further clients take in Alejandro Goic, a regular in the films of Fernando Guzzoni, a Venice Horizons Award winner this month for “Blanquita”; Julio Jorquera, who has directed episodes of “News of a Kidnapping,” produced for Prime Video by AGC Studios and Invercine&Wood; and Alondra Valenzuela and Sara Becker, stars of Lone Sherfig’s “La Contadora De Películas.”
Agencia La Luz will represent its clients on third-party productions but also help generate and package projects which it will take to the international market, Arena told Variety.
“We will represent talent inn front of and behind the camera,” Arena said. “We’re looking to export talents and internationalize careers, develop ideas and businesses, connect people and projects. We’ll accompany, orientate, advise and guide careers, ideas and works,” she added.
La Luz’s talent can benefit from Arena’s far-ranging network of contacts, one of the broadest of any executive in Latin America, run up from 2012 to this year through her work as executive director of CinemaChile, which she built up into one of Latin America’s most formidable international film-TV promotion orgs.
Market factors also play in Agencia La Luz’s favor. Currently, there is a feeding frenzy in most major markets for top-class talent. For the last 15 years and more, Chile has punched way above its weight producing a long litany of major festival film winners and now producing artistically ambitious drama series for streamers and super-indies around the world.
In a new streamer environment, the Spanish-speaking world is emerging as the biggest accesible language market on earth, accounting for nine of Netflix’s top 20 non-English series and movies. Most of La Luz’s talent list is still young or very young in professional terms and its ambitions, given the small size of Chile’s market, take in success abroad.
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