Lila Cazes, producer of Mike Figgis’ Oscar-winning Leaving Las Vegas, has died in Buenos Aires following a brief illness, it was announced today by her family.
A native of Argentina, Cazès settled in Paris with her husband Jean Cazès and in 1987 co-founded production and distribution company Initial Groupe. The company produced such features as Phillipe Galland’s 1991 La Thune from a script by Catherine Breillat; Alexandre Rockwell’s Somebody To Love, written by Sergei Bodrov and starring Rosie Perez and Harvey Keitel; and children’s television series The Smoggies and detective miniseries Le Chinois starring Charles Aznavour.
In 1993, Initial Groupe became Lumière, establishing an office in London and acquiring the Weintraub catalogue of British classics including the Ealing comedies. It produced Boaz Yakin’s Fresh starring Samuel L Jackson, Giancarlo Esposito and Sean Nelson which won the Sundance Filmmakers’ Trophy in 1994. In 1995, Cazès threw her energy into Leaving Las Vegas. The film received four Oscar nominations and a win for Best Actor, Nicolas Cage. Cazès was nominated for Best Producer by the PGA.
After that, Cazès spent time working in Los Angeles on a variety of feature projects including Paul Schrader’s Touch. Most recently, she produced Argentine fantasy feature Asleep In The Sun, directed by Alejandro Chomski.