Chile’s Francisca Alegria, whose debut feature “The Cow Who Sang a Song Into the Future” premiered at Sundance 2022, is launching a Latinx production company called Madre, with offices based in Chile, Uruguay and the U.S.
Together with her partners Fernanda Urrejola, Gabriela Rosés and Cristóbal Güell, Alegria said: “We firmly believe that stories have the ability to shape perspectives, challenge norms, and inspire action. With this in mind, we strive to select projects that not only entertain but also provoke thought and spark meaningful conversations.”
Recognizing that “representation matters,” the company intends to showcase Latinx culture “beyond surface-level diversity” stating: “We aim to portray the complexities, nuances, and rich tapestry of our community, shedding light on the multifaceted experiences and identities that often go unseen or are misunderstood.”
The new company is working on a fantasy feature set in Chile with Latinx producers Sergio Lira and Lynette Coll atLuz Films and “The Cow…” associate producers Dan Wechsler at Bord Cadre Films (“Triangle of Sadness”) and Andreas Roald at Sovereign Films, which has backed several Latin American films, including Peru’s “Song Without a Name,” Bolivia’s “The Great Movement” as well as the Oscar-nominated “Triangle of Sadness.”
Said Wechsler: “’The Cow Who Sang a Song Into the Future’ is a film that uses a sincere and unique vision to explore transcendental themes, which is something I always crave in cinema.” “When Francisca [Alegria] called me to be a part of her next original story, co-created with writing partner Fernanda [Urrejola], and to be produced by Madre, I didn’t hesitate to join them again. I think we need to keep telling stories that disrupt our reigning beliefs and pose difficult questions,” he added.
Furthermore, Madre is developing a female-led sci-fi feature alongside Lucan Toh and Babak Anvari of Two & Two Pictures (“Black Flies,” “I Came By”), which is based out of London and Los Angeles.
It also has a couple of series in development: one by Chilean helmer-scribe Claudia Huaiquimilla (“Mis hermanos suenan despiertos,” “Mala junta”) and the other created by Argentinean writer-director Majo Stafollani (“Colmena,” Román”).
Alegria first caught worldwide attention with her magic realist short “And the Whole Sky Fit into the Dead Cow’s Eye,” which took home the 2017 Sundance award for Best International Short. “The Cow who Sang a Song into the Future,” starring Mia Maestro, Leonor Varela, Alfredo Castro and co-written by Alegria and Urrejola, hit the festival circuit after its Sundance debut and was a New York Times Critics Pick in 2023.
Separately, Alegria and Urrejola have been attached as writers-showrunners of FilmNation’s upcoming seriesadaptation of Isabel Allende’ bestselling magic realist tale, “The House of the Spirits,” with Alegria set to direct. “Collaborating with Urrejola and Alegría on ‘The House of the Spirits’ has been a wonderful experience for FilmNation,” said Stefanie Berk, executive VP, television at FilmNation. “We’ve witnessed firsthand their inspiring commitment to telling daring, poignant stories and giving voice to characters that will undoubtedly connect with a global audience. We look forward to working with them again on future projects and seeing what these talented storytellers and their partners at Madre will enrich the TV and film world within the next few years,” she added.
Urrejola is a Chilean television, theater and film actress, producer and writer. Her local TV credits include “16” and “La Bala Loca,” and since relocating to Los Angeles in 2016, she has appeared on such notable shows as “Narcos: Mexico” and “Cry Macho” with Clint Eastwood and the reboots of “Gossip Girl” and “Party of Five,” among others.
Rosés, an Uruguayan fashion/costume designer and producer, is the founder of the Tareto Entito Foundation, which supports Maasai girls in Kenya through academic help and fighting negative cultural practices for their development. She is also the creative director at couture
atelier House of Nos and has been working on upcoming sci-fi tv series, “Conquest,” as a producer and costume designer.
Güell is the founder and CEO of streaming platform Riivi that showcases Latinx content. As a producer, he looks to increase Latin representation in film and TV. Having worked at Tucker Tooley Entertainment and Chilean powerhouse shingle, Fabula, has given him the experience to lead projects from inception and push culturally relevant content