The Filming Dutchmen: Scorsese and Waterland Film produce two Argentine movies

Director Celina Murga (left) and filmmaker Martin Scorsese on the set of The Third Side of the River.

Director Celina Murga (left) and filmmaker Martin Scorsese on the set of The Third Side of the River

By contributing blogger Benjamín Harguindey
There may not be an official co-production legislation between Argentina and the Netherlands, but Dutch production company Waterland Film has kept busy bankrolling two new Argentine movies: The Third Side of the River, directed by Celina Murga and produced by none other than Martin Scorsese, and Two Gun Shots, directed by Martín Rejtman.

Celina Murga behind the cameras, filming The Third Side of the River.

Celina Murga behind the cameras, filming The Third Side of the River.

Production of The Third Side of the River was announced in 2012, when Murga won a scholarship through the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative (a philanthropic programme running every two years since 2002) which awarded her the opportunity to work with Scorsese. Scorsese was involved with the development of the project since the beginning.

As executive producer, he worked on the script with Murga and her partner Gabriel Medina and mentored Murga on the set while filming in Argentina and Uruguay. He was last reported working over the final cut a few months ago. Said Scorsese, “I’m learning a lot about Argentine cinema” while championing the films of Lucrecia Martel, Leopoldo Torres Nilsson and Leonardo Favio.

Shot mostly in Entre Ríos, Argentina, the film is about 16 year-old Nicolás, the bastard child of the town doctor, who is leading two parallel lives as the family patriarch of two different families, one respectable, the other not quite. The movie tells Nicolás’s coming-of-age tale as tension mounts between himself and his father. Produced by the Argentine Tresmilmundos Cine, German Rommel Film and Dutch Waterland Film, the movie is set to premiere January 2014.

Director Martín Rejtman on the set of Two Gun  Shots.

Director Martín Rejtman on the set of Two Gun Shots.

Waterland Film’s second movie, Two Gun Shots, is currently mid-production, with filming taking place in the coastline city of Miramar. Director Martín Rejtman, once a figurehead of the bolstering ‘90s New Argentine Cinema, and writer/director of several enigmatic indie cult movies like Shaved (Rapado, 1992) and Silvia Prieto (1999), makes a comeback of sorts.

The story revolves around yet another 16 year-old, Mariano, who upon finding a gun in his home shoots himself twice – and survives. Rejtman has called the project “irresponsible”, saying “it’s much more demanding [than his earlier work]”. Release is scheduled for 2015.

The Argentine movie industry is certainly enjoying quite a lot of popularity these days on an international scale, with more and more filmmakers, accomplished and starters alike, choosing Argentina to film their stories.

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