June 12, 2023
“To make this possible, more than five hundred people worked in it, in addition to co-producing partners and important local funds from Argentina”Sebastián Freund
After its successful theatrical release during January of this year with a GBO of more than USD1,2MM and after debuting during May on Netflix The Lulu Club, starring Benjamin Vicuña, Jorge Zabaleta, Fernando Larraín and Rodrigo Muñoz have become the most watched and enduring Chilean film in cinemas for the last 5 years (2019 to 2023).
The comedy directed by Marcos Carnevale and produced by Sebastián Freund is part of the genre “Road and Buddy Movies”, a film of friends and colleagues who undertake a journey, moving from their place of comfort to another full of risks, to accomplish a mission they must solve together.
The Lulu Club was co-produced between Chile (13 Films, Secuoya Studios, 247 and Vía X Films) and Argentina (Leyenda, Corinthian Media and Frontera Films) and after its premiere on Netflix for the Latam territories, US and Spain, it managed to position itself within the global top 10 of the platform of non-English-speaking films during the first 4 days of its premiere.
This great success in Chilean theaters and one of the most important streaming platforms has initiated new conversations for a sequel, as well as remakes in Mexico, Hispanic USA, Brazil and Spain.
We talked with producer Sebastián Freund for an exclusive interview. Join us and learn all the details -behind the scenes- and the future projects for The Lulu Club !
It is a comedy for everybody, which identifies the audience and transits between emotion and humor. That, despite having many passages of comedy, presents several current topics of our society and that connect with people
Jorge Zabaleta invited me to see the play Divorcees, in which he, Fernando Larraín, Rodrigo Muñoz and Álvaro Rudolphy acted, to see if it was possible to turn it into a film.
The play was getting really popular and it was full entertainment but, it served more as a great anecdote than a story to be portrayed as a movie, so we started to work and write a completely new story but with the same characters: the sucker friend, the “crazy” friend, the homosexual friend, and the leader friend.
It was a nice process of learning, giving, discussing, fighting and agreeing, but mainly of laughing a lot.
Rodrigo did not have much experience in cinema, but he brought all the practice of working with actors, knowing the characters very well and a very important baggage from the world of comedy.
The film was shot almost entirely in Mendoza, a “film friendly” city with spectacular locations, where the different municipalities joined to support the filming, facilitating the closure of roads and locations as relevant as the Courts of Justice.
It was a pleasure to work in this city, with a professional team made up of Argentine co-producers from Leyenda, Frontera Films and Corinthian Media who also added important local funds (INCAA and Mendoza Activa) to finance the film.
The milestones with Rodrigo were putting together a team to build the script and then watch the characters come alive on the set.
With Marcos, the generosity of joining a project that didn’t come from him and the leadership with actors, which made the cast feel at home, with a professional leading them technically to make this possible.
What is different about The Lulu Club that managed to be one of the most watched Chilean films in the last 5 years?
We think it is because of how the film managed to connect with children and young audiences, which consecrated it as a family comedy and positioned us as the most watched local film in cinemas since 2019.
It is worth mentioning that for this to have been possible, many people and co-producer partners worked such as Canal 13, Secuoya Studios, 247, Vía X Films, the Argentine co-producers I mentioned, as well as the sponsors (Unimarc, Chevrolet, Caja Los Andes, JetSmart and Concha y Toro) mediapartners (Canal 13, Massiva, Radio Pudahuel and La Tercera), service providers (HD Argentina, Poston and ZOO Films) and distribution company BF Distribution.
How was the approach with Netflix?
Through a film that I co-produced with Argentina and that had Netflix as a partner, I had the opportunity to present this project, which at that moment was called “The Lulu Club”.
After showing them a teaser, with the protagonists abandoned in the middle of the desert asking for help, and pitched the plot, they bought the project for their platform as a license for the territories of Latin America, USA. and Spain.
How did you live the experience that The Lulu Club would be positioned in the world as top 10 of Netflix 3 days after the premiere?
A tremendous happiness, that in just 3 days we managed to reach the TOP 10 World of non speaking English films with 1.810.000 hours, meaning it was watched in 3 days by more than one million one hundred thousand people. This excites us and makes us think of coming with a sequel.
More than 1,000 people, between pre-production, filming, post-production and distribution of the film.
Spectacular, they write us from different parts of the world congratulating us (the film was released by Netflix in the territories of Latin America, USA and Spain), where they highlight that they had a great time and laughed a lot watching it, but there are also those who say that after seeing it as a family it manages to debate and talk about the different themes proposed in the film.