“Dante’s Secret” marks the most ambitious feature bet to date by Argentine documaker Sebastian Schindel, whose 2014 fiction debut, “The Boss, Anatomy of a Crime,” a true-events inspired pic, continues a successful career on the international film festivals circuit.
A high-profile feature, with a $7.5 million budget, “Dante’s Secret” aims to shoot in Rome and Buenos Aires, in English, Spanish and Italian; producers have scheduled a 2018 delivery.
Also based on true-events, project is inspired by Sebastian Schindel’s 2012 documentary “The Latin Skyscraper,” in which the documaker investigated the relationship between Buenos Aires skyscraper Barolo’s Palace and Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy.
The film will turn on a real search for a purgatory portal: the construction in the early twentieth century of Barolo’s Palace as the main gate of a purgatory portal and the attempt to open it.
The whole story starts in Italy after the WWI, when Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, in order to achieve divine power, sends a team to find the purgatory portal in the southern hemisphere, following The Divine Comedy maps, coinciding with the 600th anniversary of Dante Alighieri’s death anniversary.
As the 700th anniversary approaches, on the night of September 13-14, 2021, a new opportunity to open the gate will occur, according to Sebastian Schindel.
“’Dante’s Secret’ could be related with ‘Da Vinci’s Code,’ with a darker mood like ‘The Ninth Gate,’” Schindel told Variety. “But the main asset is that everything is based on real facts deeply researched and documented in ‘The Latin Skyscraper.’”
Set up at Magoya Films, a – in a first-phase – documentary company, created in 1997 by Sebastian Schindel, Fernando Molnar and Nicolas Batlle, project is co-produced, on the Argentine side, by Guido Rud’s Buenos Aires-based sales house FilmSharks Intl.
Run by Guirec Van Slingelandt, Daniel Koefoed and Anne-Paul Houwen, Amsterdam’s European Film Company has recently produced and financed Daniel Alfredson’s “Kidnapping Mr. Heineken,” with Anthony Hopkins and Sam Worthington, and, via its subsid Global Film Partners, has also backed Francois Girard’s “Boychoir,” toplining Dustin Hoffman and Kathy Bates.
Magoya producer Nicolas Batlle is attending the Rome Film Festival, where the project will be pitched at the new Italian film and TV Market, MIA, in the Make It With Italy! forum, which encourages Italian producers to participate in international co-productions.
The Rome Film Festival’s MIA market runs Oct. 16-20.