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Mónica Lozano, a prominent Mexican producer renowned for her involvement in critically acclaimed films such as “Amores Perros” and the box office hit “Instructions Not Included,” has officially joined the team behind “Cepeda.” This groundbreaking procedural series is set in the heart of Mexico and revolves around the life of a remarkable Indigenous female police officer.
Over the past two years, the project has been receiving financial support from Chile-based Promocine. However, like many other projects, “Cepeda” faced unforeseen delays caused by the global pandemic. Now, this exciting venture has found a new home at Lozano’s esteemed production house, Alebrije Producciones, located in Mexico City. Alebrije Producciones has earned a reputation as one of Mexico’s most active forces in international production, with past successes that include Carlos Carrera’s Quirino Award-winning “Ana y Bruno” and Fox’s “Run Coyote Run.”
The script for “Cepeda” has been masterfully crafted by Chilean screenwriter Julio Rojas, who has gained global recognition as the creator of the podcast phenomenon “Caso 63.” Rojas has also lent his talent as a story editor to projects like Lucía Puenzo’s “La Jauría” and as a writer for Pablo Fendrik’s “El Refugio” and Matías Bize’s “The Life of Fish,” which was selected by Variety in 2020 as one of the top 10 foreign films of the last decade without U.S. distribution.
Taking the helm as director is Nicolás Acuña, based in Chile and a pivotal figure in the development of premium TV drama in Latin America. Acuña has previously directed “Allende, The Thousand Days,” a series that made waves at the San Sebastián Film Festival. He is also the creative force behind the groundbreaking series “Besieged” and served as producer and director for the ambitious “Inés of My Soul,” a project backed by Spain’s RTVE and Prime Video.
“Cepeda” thrusts viewers into a gripping narrative that commences with the discovery of a deceased female worker at a formidable multinational mining corporation operating within Mexico. The protagonist, Detective Cepeda, specializes in investigating femicides and is tasked with solving this perplexing case. Her journey not only involves confronting the powerful mining conglomerate but also delves deeply into her complex character.
Nicolás Acuña, the director, elaborated on Cepeda’s character, stating, “She’s pretty butch: People assume she’s a lesbian, but she isn’t. She loves to dance, thought to be liberal, but has more conservative values. She has a problem with alcohol and loneliness, but is one hell of a good cop.” This multidimensional character promises to be a central element of the series, challenging stereotypes and offering viewers a fresh perspective on crime drama.
Mónica Lozano, the seasoned producer, spoke passionately about the project, emphasizing its significance in addressing issues such as violence against women and the heart-wrenching disappearances of loved ones. “The project has an attractive team and it’s a subject which is so deeply painful,” she remarked. “So many women are looking for their daughters or sisters who have disappeared and saying: ‘Enough!’ We can’t go on. We have to change this reality, and one way to do so is to visualize it.”
Nicolás Acuña’s recent work also includes “Allende, The Thousand Days,” which achieved impressive viewership on Chile’s public broadcaster, TVN. This series, a co-production involving Chile, Spain, and Argentina, offers an intimate look into the life of Salvador Allende, Chile’s first socialist president. It uncovers lesser-known facets of his personality, including his sense of humor and surprising interactions with General Pinochet.
“Allende” is led by Chile’s Parox, with Leonora González, its co-head, serving as showrunner. Spain’s Mediterráneo Media Entertainment and Argentina’s Aleph, Mente Colectiva, and HD Argentina are co-producers. The series stars the reliably superb Alfredo Castro, hidden under heavy prosthetics to portray Allende after his victory in the general elections.
Nicolás Acuña elaborated on the unique aspect of “Allende,” stating, “The series describes intimate details of Allende which generally aren’t well known, plumbing the humanity of a person who is often just a face. It explores what’s behind the figure, bringing out, for example, his large sense of humor. Pinochet made Allende laugh, for example. Allende didn’t believe he would attack the presidential palace.”
In both “Cepeda” and “Allende,” the creators aim to captivate viewers with thought-provoking storytelling, multifaceted characters, and narratives that delve into important social issues. These series promise to contribute meaningfully to the world of television by shedding light on complex and often overlooked aspects of society and history.