EXCLUSIVE: On the eve of the Amazon Prime launch of his FIFA-Gate futbol scandal series El Presidente, Argentinian Academy Award winning writer-filmmaker Armando Bó has launched About Entertainment. The new production company will produce elevated scripted, non-scripted, and brand-integrated content across all genres. Bó is accompanied by a diverse and seasoned team: Content Development will be led by Mercedes Reincke, a former Vice President of Content Development at Viacom; Natacha Cervi (Rizoma Films) leads Production & Operations; Mariana Levy leads the Screenwriting division and Ezequiel Olemberg leads the Financial and Legal department.
Bó shared the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay with Nicolás Giacobone, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, and Alexander Dinelaris for Birdman. The quartet also won the Golden Globe. He followed by writing/directing and producing Animal. Bó is putting together the first projects for About Entertainment but hasn’t solidified the first slate.
Bó’s series El Presidente is Amazon Prime Video’s first Chilean Original and stars Karla Souza (How to Get Away with Murder), Andrés Parra (Pablo Escobar: El Patrón del Mal) and Paulina Gaitán (Diablo Guardian). The drama marks Bó’s first foray into television and premieres June 5. It is inspired by the real-life events of the 2015 “FIFA Gate” corruption scandal. The show takes an ironic, unfiltered, behind the scenes look into the business side of world’s most watched sport, and it will premiere in more than 200 countrioes around the world. Bó is the showrunner, director and executive producer.
Bó told Deadline that his success in film projects and pivot into creating and show running his first major series was instructive in helping form a direction for the new company. Essentially, About Entertainment will focus on telling the best stories, whatever the best platform, and language.
“I feel I have been a student of the world and my home is Latin America but I’ve lived in the States,” he said. “I am definitely interested in the American market but also, right now premium content from Latin America is something everybody is looking for. El President was a real opportunity to try something that is international in scope but related to America and it feels like a great time for me to develop projects for different formats.
“Telling a story over eight hours was a challenge, but during this quarantine we’ve realized how important sports are to us, to the world and I wanted to mix humor in a big story,” he said. In the sport of soccer, only the goalie is supposed to use their hands, but FIFA officials had their hands in every pot they could find, with bribes galore. “I am a big fan of futbol but this isn’t as much about the sport as these real characters who were so corrupt that it’s like how they say that reality is way more incredible than fiction. There were these 10 old guys managing the world of futbol without answering to anybody and the results were crazy.”
The company is diversified enough to generate scripted and unscripted. “Most people seem to be closing companies right now and we are delighted to be opening one.”
The goal, Bó said, is “to encourage creative freedom as the pillar to produce truly special and unique content with storytelling at its core. It’s important to back filmmakers in their quest for a distinct voice by supporting them with the best technical, creative and premium resources for their productions.
“About Entertainment is where any story begins. We wanted something simple that could summarize what we stand for,” says the team of the company’s name. “We stand for human stories and endeavor to tell them in the best possible way to connect with people. The word “about” includes not only the idea of the story, but also the act of telling it, along with the people behind it: the storytellers.”
He is repped by CAA, Untitled and Ziffren, Brittenham.
Here is a dubbed version of the trailer for El Presidente: