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Kusturica plans Pancho Villa picture

 Bosnian-born director Emir Kusturica holds the Guadalajara key to the city during a International Film Festival in Guadalajara in Mexico
Bosnian-born director Emir Kusturica holds the Guadalajara key to the city during a International Film Festival in Guadalajara in Mexico's state of Jalisco March 22, 2009. REUTERS/Hector Guerrero
— image credit: Reuters

By John Hecht

GUADALAJARA, Mexico (Hollywood Reporter) - Serbian filmmaker Emir Kusturica is planning to shoot his next film in Mexico, a Spanish-language picture about Mexican revolutionary hero Francisco "Pancho" Villa.

The two-time Palme d'Or winner (for 1985's "When Father Was Away on Business" and 1995's "Underground") made the announcement Sunday at the Guadalajara International Film Festival before presenting "Maradona by Kusturica," his documentary about Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona.

Before the screening, Kusturica received a career achievement award and told an enthusiastic crowd that he would be filming his biopic on Mexican soil.

"On these kinds of occasions, it's typical to say empty phrases like 'thank you very much' and 'I'm very pleased,' but I'm not going to say that," he said. "Instead, I'm going to say that I'm going to make a film in this country, in Spanish. It's a film about one of my idols, Pancho Villa, and his friends."

The Mexican debut of "Maradona" was a crowd-pleaser here in soccer-mad Mexico. It features a series of interviews with Maradona talking about his rags-to-riches story, his cocaine addiction and his anti-American and anti-British sentiments.

Following Sunday night's screening, Kusturica's band, the No Smoking Orchestra, brought down the house with a vivacious concert. The group departed Guadalajara early Monday morning and Kusturica was not immediately available to provide more details about the film production.

(Editing by Dean Goodman at Reuters)

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