Martin Scorsese is executive producing Argentine filmmaker Celina Murga’s latest drama, “The Freshly Cut Grass,” which has begun production.
Produced by “Argentina, 1985” producers Infinity Hill, the film stars Oscar nominee Marina de Tavira (“Roma”) who plays opposite Argentina’s Joaquin Furriel (“The Boss, Anatomy of a Crime”) in what is described as “an exploration of love, desire, relationships and how society applies double standards for men and women.”
“I came to know Celina [Murga] through Rolex’s arts mentorship program, in which I’d agreed to participate for the 2008-2009 year,” said Scorsese. “I chose Celina among the candidates that were sent my way because I was greatly impressed by her two features ‘Ana and the Others’ and ‘A Week Alone,’” he added.
“I try to see as many pictures from around the world as I can, and I found both films unusual in subject matter, extremely subtle on a dramatic level, closely tied to the documentary reality of the worlds of their characters, and very carefully made,” he noted, adding: “Both films stay rooted in everyday life, but both have a wonderfully refined sense of drama. In ‘A Week Alone,’ she does extraordinary work with a cast of adolescents and children, which is rare in movies.”
“I’m excited for Celina, Marina, and Joaquin to bring their singular talents together to tell this story,” said Scorsese.
This is not the first time Scorsese has boarded a Murga film. He also executive produced her drama “The Third Side of the River” (2014), distributed by The Match Factory and selected for competition at Berlinale. The coming-of-age film centers on a sixteen-year-old teen who is torn between the urge to become independent and the pull of his father’s expectations.
Written by Murga, director Juan Villegas (“Las Vegas”) and Lucía Osorio with the collaboration of Gabriela Larralde (“Monzon, A Knockout Blow”), “The Freshly Cut Grass” follows Pablo (Furriel) and Natalia (de Tavira), two university professors who are having affairs with their students. “Two mirrored stories, similar yet different,” the synopsis goes.
“This story originated in our conversations around feminism and the need to analyze it in a more nuanced way,” said Murga. “Both I, as director, and the writing team, believe in and value this historic moment that we are going through for women’s rights.”
“What thrilled me in reading the script was a fascinating acting quest for a character at this stage in my life,” commented de Tavira, adding: “The journey, this juncture in Natalia’s life, what is happening to her marriage and to the other characters, are themes that I really wanted to explore.”
Furriel remarked: “The most interesting thing about the script for me is that it shows how patriarchal society works with a very subtle mechanism. It’s amazing how clearly the film draws these parallels between the male and female characters.”
The multi-national project involves companies from Latin America, Europe and the U.S. Aside from Infinity Hill, the other producers are Buenos Aires-based Mostra Cine and Murga and Villegas’ Tresmilmundos Cine as well as Mexico’s Dopamine, Weydemann Bros. of Germany, Lorena Villareal’s Barraca Prods. and Uruguay’s Nadador Cine.
Paulette Bensussen from TDO Media handles international sales.
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