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Telefilms’ The Magic Eye Taps Israel Adrian Caetano To Direct ‘Sandro de America’

Variety logo Variety 1/10/2017 John Hopewell
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Latin America’s Telefilms Group, its biggest independent movie distributor, has tapped Israel Adrian Caetano, one of Argentina’s most illustrious film auteurs, to direct bio-series “Sandro de America.”

Comprising 13 episodes, “Sandro de America” narrates the life if the Argentine crooner, sometimes called the Latin American Elvis, who defined emoting masculinity for two generations of Latin Americans, women and men.

“Sandro de America” is set up at The Magic Eye, Telefilms’ new TV production house. Telefilms and Telefe, Argentina’s No. 1 TV network, announced at the L.A Screenings that they would co-produce the series, with Telefe taking broadcast rights in Argentina and Telefilms and Telefe sharing international distribution.

Currently in pre-production, the bio-series is set to roll from March. It takes on one of the icons of Latino music who evolved from singing rock and roll in Spanish to bolero-inspired romantic ballads which mixed traditional tropes – the lover as the suffering victim of passion – rock touches, and sexed-up allusion to the first generation of Latin Americans to experiment any kind of sexual revolution. Blessed with the looks of a male-model rugby player and an enormous bushel of chest hair, Sandro de America was also a symbol of early Latino power, breaking into the Latino U.S. market and becoming one of the earliest Latino artists to perform at Madison Square Garden, in 1970.

“Sandro de America” follows on a string of recent bio-series hits, such as Sony Pictures Televsion’s “The Rose Seller,” aired by RCN TV in Colombia and the country’s most-watched scripted series of 2015, and Disney Media Distribution-backed Juan Gabriel bio-series, “Hasta que te conoci,” its first original in Latin America, which broke ratings records on TNT Latin America and Mexico’s TV Azteca and on Telemundo tripled Univision ratings.

A leading light of the New Argentine Cinema, Caetano directed one of its founding films, “Pizza, Birra, Faso,” a 1998 movie which scored box office, plaudits and critical praise, demonstrating the artistic and commercial viability of low-budget filmmaking in Argentina. Spearheading Argentine cinema’s growing international market reach, he went on to helm ‘The Red Bear,” which screened in Un Certain Regard, and 2006’s “Cronica de Una Fuga,” one of only four Argentine films to be selected for Cannes competition last decade and whose industrial mix – an auteurist genre movie with audience appeal – anticipated many of the big Argentine movies of the last few years.

More recently, however, as select Latin America scripted fare  has acquired more of a higher-end premium TV edge, Caetano has found success in TV, directing episodes of HBO Latin America’s “Prófugos,” overseen by Pablo Larrain, and co-writing the Netflix-acquired “El Marginal,” show-run by Underground Producciones’ Sebastian Ortega, one of the outstanding Argentine TV series of the last few years.

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