Image John Harris.
© Haddock Films.
Director Ana Piterbarg makes her film debut in a big way. For her first work, she's got a first rate cast, spearheaded by the American [actor]. In conversation with Infobae América, she told us what her film Todos tenemos un plan is about.
She had the idea in her head for ten years, admits Ana Piterbarg, Argentinian, 41years old, film director, script writer. It took a long time for the project and its goals to get off the ground, but her first work, Todos tenemos un plan, finally took shape. And how.
This Argentinian- Spanish production has as its star, Viggo Mortensen, the Hollywood actor who was raised in the south of the continent and won the affections of the whole region with his proper manners and soothing, likeable Spanish. It will be the actor's first film in Argentina, where he spent his childhood.
Soledad Villamil, Sofía Gala Castiglione and Daniel Fanego make up the rest of the main characters in this story that takes place in the Tigre delta. Agustín (Mortensen) is a man who is desperately seeking to leave his past in Buenos Aires behind. He decides to return to the area where he grew up with his deceased twin brother, Pedro. His fate takes an unexpected turn and he has to put himself in his shoes. In this way, he becomes involved in the criminal world that his brother was part of.
"This is a suspense film that has to do with our contradictions, those two sides of personality we all have inside ourselves," Piterbarg pointed out while talking with Infobae América. The filmmaker told us what inspired her to make her first film and the funny way in which she got Mortensen to star in it.
Why did you think of an international actor like Viggo Mortensen?
It's strange. For a long time, I'd been thinking about who would be the appropriate person and I thought of him, but in an ideal way. I liked him because he's an actor who, although he's made action or violent films, offers something else behind that tough character that he portrays. And this story has to do with that other thing that is seen behind, that is intuited, or that is felt, but that isn't literally put on the screen.
How did you manage to contact him?
It happened, by one those tricks of fate, that I met him at the door of the San Lorenzo club (the Argentinian soccer club that Viggo is a huge supporter of) when I was going to pick up my son. I proposed making the film to him, he told me to send him the script by mail, he thought it was interesting, and after a few months, we began to contact each other. That was in October of 2008. I told him briefly that it was a suspense story that took place in El Tigre and it also happened that Viggo had gone there as a kid and he liked that. We saw each other every time he came to Argentina, a couple of times a year. Later he participated in the meetings with the producers and in the search for financing.
For any director, it´s difficult to get a budget for their first film. Having Mortensen on board somehow contributed to the financing?
Yes, because of the popularity and success his films have. He is a person who attracts [audiences]; that´s why it was very attractive for the producers. Viggo is also a person much appreciated at the emotional level not only by Argentinians, but internationally. The situation of the film has a before and after his appearing. Anyway, the Argentinian and Spanish producers we are working with already knew about the project.
Given that a figure of his stature is in it, did you get any offer from Hollywood for the script?
Up till now, no. Although it´s a rather peculiar thriller, and since it takes place in the Tigre, I think the adaptation is a bit difficult.
How did you chose the rest of the cast?
Walter Rippel was in charge of the casting. It was very gratifying because all the actors we wanted were the ones we got. I decided to get in contact with Soledad Villamil and she was enthusiastic about the script. The same happened with Daniel Fanego and Sofía Gala Castiglione.
What was your inspiration for the film? Does it have anything to do with personal experiences or anything you read?
The coexistence of those contradictions within yourself, and how you make decisions that take you toward a certain place, were always interesting to me. It didn´t spring out of some particular experience. But there´s certain material which helped me to define the story, like La Ribera [The Riverside] by the Argentinian Enrique Wernicke, a journalist who went to live on the Tigre riverside during the fifties and dedicated himself to making tin soldiers. That book is rather autobiographical, about someone who decides to begin a new life, which is a bit what happens to the main character, Agustín.