Leading Chilean TV producer Maria Elena Wood, whose multiple credits include “News of a Kidnapping,” “Ramona” and “Dignity,” is developing a follow up to her company’s latest hit documentary “Operation Chile: Top Secret,” which, until the end of September, was the most-watched Chilean TV program that marked the 50th anniversary of the military coup d’état in Chile.
Wood will be at Ventana Sur to present the first animation feature she has boarded, “Lucila,” which has its market debut at this year’s Animation! Pitching Sessions.
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“Our original idea is to make a documentary for a global audience and that is what we are working on now,” said Wood of the upcoming “Chile: An American Secret,” a Canada-Chile co-production, with Canada represented by director- producer Orlando Arriagada of Pimiento Prods. and Chile repped by her company Maria Wood Producciones and local partner Un día en la vida. They are aiming to have it ready by mid-2024.
“’Chile: An American Secret’ tells the story of the life, passion and work of Peter Kornbluh, the greatest declassifier of secret documents on the U.S. intervention in Chile,” said Wood who added that this “version is more focused on the story the documents tell and the dramatic consequences of the actions of U.S. governments and agencies.”
“It delves into the motivations, obstacles and findings of Kornbluh, who stakes his life on making it possible for the judgement of history to convict those who never paid for their crimes in life,” Wood said of Kornbluh who was a senior analyst at the National Security Archive and the director of the Chile Documentation Project, the Cuba Documentation Project as well as author of several non-fiction books.
Wood and her partners are hoping to replicate or surpass the success of “Operation Chile: Top Secret,” which, until late September, was the second most-watched program of the year on Paramount-owned Chilevisión, doubling the ratings of Chilean national network TVN’s fiction series “Los mil días de Allende.”
It was also the most discussed and shared on social media compared to other programs about the coup, not only in Chile, but also in Argentina, Spain, Mexico, and the U.S., among others.
Maria Wood Productions and Un día en la vida own international rights to “Operation Chile: Top Secret” while Chilevisión holds local rights.
“We are in conversations with a distribution company and are aiming to license ‘Operation Chile’ out to different territories,” said Wood.
Wood, who has directed acclaimed documentaries “Mad Women” and “Michele Bachelet, la Hija del General,” co-directed and co-executive produced “Operation Chile: Top Secret” with partner Patricio Pereira, whose producing credits include “Machuca” and 2012 Sundance Grand Jury Prizewinner “Violeta Went to Heaven.” They will now co-direct “American Secret.”
They worked closely with regular collaborators, journalists Andrea Insunza and Javier Ortega of Un dia en la vida, who were the investigators, scriptwriters and also executive producers.
Also involved were Chilevisión’s CHV Noticias, led by Pablo Vasquez and Paz Díaz, and the programming team of Chilevisión, led by Francisco Espinosa.
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