Luis Ortega has wrapped production in Argentina on “Kill the Jockey,” starring Úrsula Corberó, “Money Heist’s” Tokyo, and Nahuel Pérez Biscayart (“120 BPM”), which is shaping up as one of the biggest upcoming movies from Latin America.
Ortega’s follow-up to 2018 Un Certain Regard hit “El Angel,” which sold worldwide and set a box office record in Argentina, “Kill the Jockey” has been snapped up for overseas sales by Vicente Canales’ Film Factory Entertainment, which also sold “El Angel.”
TelevisaUnivision VOD service ViX will roll out “Kill the Jockey” in the U.S. and Latin America. Scanbox handles distribution in Scandinavia.
“Kill the Jockey’s” top-notch cast also features Daniel Giménez Cacho (“Bardo,” “Zama”), Mariana Di Girólamo (“Ema,”,”La Jauría”), Daniel Fanego (“El Ángel”) and Roly Serrano (“Youth”).
It turns on Remo (Pérez Biscayart), the best jockey of his generation, whose addictions, however, have gradually cast a shadow over his glory. Like Abril (Corberó), another jockey, who is torn between having a child or the lure of fame, Remo races for Sirena (Giménez Cacho), a powerful mobster who has saved his life in the past.
Remo, inevitably, has an accident killing a valuable horse and gets lost in the streets of Buenos Aires. When Sirena launches a city wide manhunt for him, Abril tries to find him before it’s too late. But something in Remo has changed forever.
“Kill the Jockey” marks another step up in film-production scale for Ortega, following “El Angel,” whose recent TV work and films — directing episodes of “El Marginal” and movie “Lulu,” also starring Pérez Biscayart — has displayed an acute empathy for manic self-destructive outsiders.
The movie also signals the consolidation of Buenos Aires-based Rei Pictures, behind Lucrecia Martel’s Zama,” as an international production force, with the capacity to bring a huge spread of overseas partners to the table.
International co-production, which has always set the company apart in Latin America, is more a strategy than response to necessity, said Domenech, who has produced Chilean Felipe Gálvez’s awaited Un Certain Regard title “The Settlers,” and has upcoming titles from Lucrecia Martel, Pablo Fendrik and Daniela Goggi.
On “Kill the Jockey,” Rei Pictures, headed by Benjamin Domenech, Santiago Gallelli and Matías Roveda, produces with with Luis Ortega’s and Esteban Perroud’s El Despacho (Argentina), Axel Kuschevatzky and Cindy Teperman for Infinity Hill, which backed “Argentina, 1985,”Charlie Cohen for Warner Music Entertainment and Isaac Lee, Nando Vila and Paz Lázaro for Exile Content, also based out of the U.S.
Co-producers take in El Estudio (Spain), Piano (Mexico), Snowglobe (Denmark), Jacinto Films (Argentina) and Barraca Producciones (Mexico), in association with Dim Films (Argentina).
Executive producers include Benicio del Toro, Vila, Delfina Montecchia, Federico Frágola, and Martín Fisner.
Film’s cinematographer is Timo Salminen, a frequent Aki Kaurismaki’s collaborator who also has at Cannes the Finnish director’s “Fallen Leaves” and Lisandro Alonso’s “Eureka.”
“Staying on our path of supporting original voices admidst the industry’s changing landscape, we are proud to support Luis Ortega’s vision accompanied by such a talented cast and group of partners we admire,” said Domenech.
“‘Kill the Jockey’ dares to be fierce, wild, poetic, visually arresting and equally sensual at the same time. Luis Ortega is a cinematic force to reckon with,” adds Kuschevatzky.
“International buyers are always interested in the next Luis Ortega: He’s a regular at Cannes as well as in lighting up worldwide box office numbers. The script is powerful and unique, producers are brilliant and the film looks just great,” added Canales.
The film is expected to be ready for delivery late 2023 or early 2024.