Chile’s Parox Co-Produces With Spain and Argentina ‘Allende, the Thousand Days,’ Toplining Alfredo Castro (EXCLUSIVE)
Top Chilean fiction house Parox, producer of “Invisible Heroes,” has kick-started principal photography on international co-production “Los mil días de Allende” (“Allende, the Thousand Days”), a historical drama mini-series about the last three years in the life of Chilean President Salvador Allende.
Alfredo Castro – one of Latin America’s most respected actors and a Pablo Larraín regular, star of films such as “Karnawal” and “El Club” – leads the mini-series cast as Allende; Benjamín Vicuña (“Besieged,” “Locked Up”) plays Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.
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The four-episode, 55-minute fiction drama shoot is taking place entirely in Chile, lensing from May 15 for two months, under “Besieged” and “Inés of My Soul” director Nicolás Acuña.
Leonora González and Sergio Gándara, Parox co-founders, are respectively the mini-series’ showrunner and producer.
A Chile-Spain-Argentina co-production, “Allende, the Thousand Days” teams Spain’s Mediterráneo Media Entertainment and Argentine companies Aleph, Mente Colectiva and HD Argentina.
Chilean public broadcaster TVN, Spanish nationwide group RTVE and Argentina’s Canal 9 are also backing the project.
“The Spanish part brings to the table talent and financing; Argentina puts talent, services and financing,” Gándara explained.
Written by Carla Stagno (“Sayen”), Cristián Jiménez (“Bonsai,” “Family Life”), Paco Mateo (“Inés of My Soul”) and Pablo Manzi, “Allende, the Thousand Days” tells the story of the last three years of the Chilean president and the experience in government of his Unidad Popular party, narrated by Manuel Ruiz, a 25-year-old Spaniard who becomes a close adviser to the president.
A fictional character, Ruiz is inspired by Spanish lawyer and political scientist Joan Garcés and played by Barcelona-born thesp Pablo Capuz (“Merlí. Sapere Aude”).
Allende died during the Sept. 11, 1973 coup d’etat of General Augusto Pinochet, whose troops shelled the Chilean government headquarters, in La Moneda Palace.
In the series, Ruiz accompanies Allende in La Moneda. He’s ready for anything, but minutes before the bombing, Allende tells him that he has to survive to tell the world what he saw in Chile.
“Allende is mainly known for his political decision to commit suicide in La Moneda while the government palace was bombed by the armed forces that had to protect the Chilean constitution,” showrunner Leonora González argued, calling his death a “tragic and symbolic act meaning that his name is in squares, streets, schools, hospitals in many countries around the world.”
“We want to go further to show the president in his complexity, in his feats, difficulties and contradictions, so that the audience can travel with Allende and the characters who accompany him, get emotional and suffer with them,” she noted.
The references for “Allende, the Thousand Days’” production come from series such as “Borgen” and “The West Wing” and movies such as “Darkest Hour” and “Argentina, 1985.”
“Despite the tragic final act of Allende’s death, we also want to show the light, joy, and hope that lay behind the project led by him,” González said.
She added: “Finally, [we want] to tell the story of a politician who, in a Cold War context, thought it was possible to make a unique social and economic transformation project a reality, without aligning himself with one of the two great powers: a left wing project, democratic, peaceful and with political and press freedoms.”
On the 50th anniversary of the coup d’etat, “the mini-series aims to be a programming event, which will be broadcast on the same dates by TVN, RTVE and Canal 9, during September 2023,” Gándara said.
“We are evaluating several alternative sales agents and platforms that would launch the series after its free-to-air release,” he added.
Launched in 2001 by Gándara and Gónzález, Parox has become one of Chile’s foremost TV companies, having produced fiction series such as TVN’s sci-fi thriller “Gen Mishima” and “Invisible Heroes,” a thriller-drama set during the 1973 military coup, co-produced with Finnish public broadcaster YLE and broadcast by Chilevisión.
Further Parox standout productions take in TVN’s “El reemplazante” and “Los archivos del Cardenal,” plus local adaptations of both HBO’s “In Treatment” for 3TV and Juan José Campanella Argentine comedy “El hombre de tu vida” for Canal 13.
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