Oscar-winning producer Daniel Dreifuss Boards Hari Sama’s ‘Red Men’

Academy Award-winning producer Daniel Dreifuss (“All Quiet on the Western Front”) has boarded “Red Men,” the latest feature from Mexico’s Hari Sama, best known for his lauded autobiographical pic “This is not Berlin,” which world premiered at Sundance in 2019.

Described as an “edgy and provocative coming-of-age story” about the life of Austrian expressionist painter Egon Schiele, “Red Men” hones in on Schiele’s role in reshaping European aesthetics through his intimate relationship with lover and muse, Dominik Van Osen.

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Their bond inspired Schiele’s pioneering Expressionist style while also compelling the young artist to confront his sexually fluid identity amidst repressive laws banning homosexuality in turn-of-the-century Vienna. This romantic saga delves into the emotional complexities of two artistic companions turned lovers, which drove Egon’s artistic vision while he struggled to navigate society’s norms. Schiele, whose provocative art was known for its contorted body shapes and dramatic lines, died at the age of 28 from the Spanish flu pandemic.

Said Dreifuss: “Following ‘All Quiet on the Western Front,’ I continue to seek out incredible and untold stories that bring edgy and contemporary storytelling to historical settings that have a parallel to our world today. When Hari told me that the famous Red Men may have been portraits of Egon’s lover who had to be erased in his life to be immortalized on canvas, I knew we had a movie through Hari’s singular take and exciting voice.”

“Combining the best of European, Latin American, and U.S. talent is a mission for me, particularly lifting voices that reflect the challenges LGBTQIA+ pioneers have endured,” he added.

“Since my first years as a filmmaker, I’ve wanted to make a film about Egon Schiele, and then, some years ago, I found an article that read: ‘New scholarship has found that Egon Schiele’s male nudes from 1910, known as his “Red Men,” are not, as has long been assumed, self-portraits. Instead, they most likely depict the artist’s gay friends, particularly his lover and muse, Dominik Erwin Osen,’” Sama explained, adding: “An atom exploded in my mind. Through research, we found that his friend Dominik Erwin Osen repeatedly formed part of Egon´s life until he suddenly disappeared for good. We had found a story.”

Written by Sama, Max Barron and Diana Coronado, principal photography of “Red Men” is slated to kick off in the fourth quarter of this year. Casting is underway. Andres Budnik and Eben Davidson of Vision Entertainment are also attached to produce.

Known for his punk-rock sensibility, Sama has become one of Mexico’s most renowned directors, earning acclaim for “This is not Berlin,” which garnered 12 Ariel Award nominations including Best Picture and Best Director. He is currently developing the upcoming Apple TV series, “Showtime” with Dailyn Rodriguez (“The Lincoln Lawyer”) where he will serve as executive producer and director of the pilot.

Sama was recently the showrunner of “The Beautiful Lie” starring Kate del Castillo and the director of series “El Dentista,” starring Oscar-nominated actor Damián Bichir for Spanish-language streaming platform, ViX.

Dreifuss’ notable credits include such pics as “Sergio,” about the doomed U.N. diplomat Sergio Vieira de Mello, and the Oscar-nominated “No” by Chile’s Pablo Larrain, starring Gael Garcia Bernal. He’s also an executive producer of mini-series “Ghosts of Beirut.”

Vision Entertainment co-CEO Andres Budnik has been integral to expanding the company’s international driven content and talent roster, representing Academy Award winners like Gonzalo Maza, among others. Producer and former Paramount executive Eben Davidson has backed such major studio hits as “Arrival” and “Florence Foster Jenkins.”

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