International comedy star Eugenio Derbez has touched down in Utah for the world premiere of his latest dramatic turn in “Radical,” one of the opening night presentations at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.
Variety has an exclusive first look at the project, the story of an outside-the-box teacher in a crime-ridden Mexican border town.
The film is directed by Christopher Zalla, who won Sundance’s Grand Jury Prize in 2007 for “Sangre de Mi Sangre.” In the exclusive clip, Derbez can be seen changing the physical layout of a classroom — and removing his own desk — at a hard-knock school known more for discipline than academic encouragement. Already getting pushback from the establishment faculty, Derbez admits he wants to try something different.
The film marks Derbez’s return to Sundance after the record-breaking sale of “CODA,” which would go on to win the Oscar for best picture. “Radical” was chosen by the festival as the first movie to screen for hundreds of volunteers piling into Park City. It is based on the life of teacher Sergio Juárez Correa, who with his students was the subject of a 2013 Wired magazine cover story titled “A Radical Way of Unleashing a Generation of Geniuses.”
The project was produced by 3Pas Studios (Derbez’s label run by Benjamin Odell), in association with Epic Magazine and The Lift, and financed by TelevisaUnivision/ViX. The film is seeking worldwide distribution in all territories, save Mexico. Andrew Herwitz of The Film Sales Company is representing the filmmakers. It co-stars Daniel Haddad, Jennifer Trejo, Mia Fernanda Solis and Danilo Guardiola.