Sunday, December 4, 2011

Salada, Querosene set 'High Five'

BUENOS AIRES -- Mariana Secco's Montevideo-based Salado Media is teaming with Brazil's Querosene Filmes to produce Manuel Facal's feature debut, "High Five." The Uruguayan movie underscores two building trends in Latin America: producers' increasing concern to conquer local audiences and the emergence of a new generation of filmmakers who view their films as primarily entertainment, not social-issue pics. "Five" turns on a stoner who stumbles on a stash of marijuana, cocaine, LSD, ecstasy and ketamine. He assembles four friends and each takes one drug. "High Five" recounts what they remember as happening afterwards. Shooting next summer, "Five," which won Uruguay's main Fona subsidy award, is "an exercise in screwball comedy, a format usually linked to light comedies, adapted to stronger content," Facal said. Its cinematographer, Pedro Luque, and production designer, Federico Capra, both worked on Uruguayan Gustavo Hernandez's micro-budget horror hit "The Silent House," which sparked a U.S. remake and worldwide sales. Set in a Montevideo divided by class and wealth, "Five" "charts the long and confusing transition from adolescence to adulthood," said Secco, who called "Five" " 'Scott Pilgrim' meets 'Dazed and Confused,'" She added, "What's really interesting is to have a new-generation director who doesn't want to go from festival to festival but wants to make movies like the U.S. buddy comedies he grew up on." Querosene topper Joao Queiroz is in talks for theatrical distribution in Brazil. Given "Five's" 18-30 demo, Secco said the producers are exploring straight-to-TV for some territories and Internet VOD distribution. Contact the Variety newsroom at

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