Grandave’s Tamara Nagahiro Pushes for Women, People of Color Behind the Screens

Grandave Capital launched in June on the eve of the Cannes Marche, with Tamara Nagahiro as head of acquisitions and sales. As a third-party equity investor, Grandave is involved with Paul Schrader’s “The Card Counter,” starring Tiffany Haddish, Oscar Isaac, Tye Sheridan and Willem Defoe, with Martin Scorsese serving as executive producer. It also has world sales rights on  Venice Days film “My Tender Matador,” from Rodrigo Sepúlveda Urzúa, based on the queer classic novel by celebrated Chilean writer Pedro Lemebel.

Grandave’s production arm Broken English Prods. focuses on Latinx movie and TV projects, and announced its first project this summer, “7th & Union,” starring actor/comedian Omar Chaparro. At Toronto, Grandave is introducing Broken English’s “Like It Used to Be,” starring Gina Rodriguez.

What types of projects appeal to you?

I’ve always seen it as a benefit because I feel like I can relate to multiple cultures (Nagahiro is Latina-Japanese American). We can create projects like [the Gina Rodriguez feature] and we can put these stories out into the world and we could support these women of color. And that to me that’s the goal. It’s the right time because it seems like not only the industry but also people in general their minds are opening up to more diversity.

How do you reach a wider audience with a drama like “7th & Union”?

I’ve been talking to, since we’ve been in production, literally everyone that you can think of — from the streamers to independent distribution companies. And so, the goal is to get the widest distribution for the film, and this story is about the Black and brown communities coming together to make a better life for themselves and their families. And to me that seems extremely timely. So my job is to take it to market and sell it to get wide distribution and that’s where we’re going to Toronto, that’s why we’re doing AFM. I’ll be introducing a teaser during Toronto that should be ready right before market. … and we’re hungry for something fresh. Previously it’s like everyone wants to make what they think everyone wants. I don’t always know what that is.

How will new COVID-related protocols impact films?

We were able, in the midst of COVID, to complete our all feature film “7th & Union.” It presented new challenges, but we were able to push through and get it done. But now we have more of an understanding of what’s required. We had to take daily temperatures. And you have to ask a lot of questions You know, it’s amazing — everybody pulled together.

What does the indie market look like going into Toronto?

We all need to still do business right? We know product is needed. Now more than ever. We are pointing forward, trying to shoot another film before the end of the year. And so we will be attending both Toronto virtually. And I’ve already started setting up meetings. I think people are maybe a bit hesitant to introduce new titles, but I think a lot of that has to do with not knowing if they can bring all the pieces together

What about budgets?

We’re working mostly in a range of like $5 million to $10 million. And we are also financiers. We have been able to continue to shoot, and continue to introduce and announce products to the market that are well funded, so that also plays into that level of confidence and being able to into introduce material and new product.

You’re in control of your own destiny.

I think a lot of other companies are having to shift and change the business model. And for us, you know, we set out to make films and build a sales company and that’s exactly what we’re doing. And also partnering with the right people is also essential.


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