In 2007, Variety cited Pablo Cruz as one of its “10 Producers to Watch.” Four years later, in 2011, he returned to Variety’s list as one of its “People to Know.” Since the establishment of CANANA in 2005, a company formed alongside partners Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna, they have made inroads in cinema and distribution, by making Latin American films that have international appeal. Most recently, Canana expanded operations into the U.S. with Cruz spearheading its operations. Canana L.A., strives to offer entertainment with social underlining themes for the Latin Community living in the U.S. During its first year, Cruz completed production on the highly anticipated Chavez, based on the struggles and triumphs of legendary labor union organizer Cesar E. Chavez, in collaboration with Emilio Azcarraga, Haim Saban and Participant Media. Additionally Canana has partnered with Focus Films and Showtime for future productions.
Over the past six years, Cruz has produced over twelve films including: Gerardo Naranjo’s Drama/Mex, Voy A Explotar [I’m Gonna Explode], and his most recent and critically acclaimed, Miss Bala; Diego Luna’s directorial debut documentary J.C. Chávez, Abel, and his upcoming and highly anticipated film, Chavez, Gael Garcia Bernal’s directorial debut, Déficit; Agustín Díaz Yanes’ Sólo Quiero Caminar; Israel Cárdenas and Laura Amelia Guzmán’s Cochochi and Jean Gentil ; and Cary Fukunaga’s Sin Nombre, a co-production with Focus Features. Canana’s additional titles include Cefalópodo, Revolución, an omnibus movie directed by 10 contemporary Mexican directors (Carlos Reygadas, Fernando Eimbcke, Patricia Riggen, and Gerardo Naranjo) and Come Out And Play (2012), premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival, Midnight Madness section. Canana is currently working on Michael Rowe’s (winner of the Camara D’or in 2010) second feature, Napa, and is collaborating with Focus Features on the political thriller A Man Must Die, which Naranjo is set to direct. In 2008, Cruz successfully ventured into theatre with El Buen Canario [The Good Canary], written by Zach Helm and directed by John Malkovich. The production’s success (36 consecutive sold out nights) led to a national tour around 12 major Mexican cities. In 2010, Canana expanded its production arm into television with the series Soy Tu Fan, starring Ana Claudia Talancón, which captured audiences with it’s vivid portrayal of contemporary Mexican young professionals and unconventional love. The show had two successful seasons, becoming one of the channel’s highest rated shows (Canal Once – Mexico),. The series went on to be aired on MTV. In 2011, Canana produced it’s second series, Niño Santo, a sci-fi thriller based on the legend of a mystical character “el niño,” whose healing abilities forces a group of doctors to question their beliefs in science, that was distributed on Canal Once and sold to TNT.
In 2010 Pablo Cruz made in-roads in the Mexican box-office with the film Abel. The film is the fourth largest grossing Mexican movie in 2010. It has been showcased in over 20 festival including Sundance (in the Premieres section), Cannes and San Sebastian where it received the Horizontes Award for Best Film and the Youth Award. Abel has been sold in France, England, Spain, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Australia. In 2011, Cruz saw great box office success in Mexico for the second time with MISS BALA, a film that was also sold in over 10 territories including the U.S., France, U.K and Latin America.
Under Cruz, CANANA has set a precedent in distribution by exposing Mexican audiences to diverse content and introducing various distribution formats. Canana distribution has released such titles as Let The Right One In, Gomorrra, Food Inc. and The White Ribbon, all critically acclaimed films that have found a space amongst Mexican audiences. Additionally, he launched CANANA ON DEMAND, a partnership with Mexico’s largest cable company Cablevisión, making it the first production company to spearhead an ON DEMAND project in Latin America. He continues to explore ways of providing content to Mexican and Latin American audiences through new distributions channels, to make films more accessible to the Latin American community.
Along with Diego Luna, Gael Garcia Bernal, and Elena Fortes, Pablo Cruz also founded Documental Ambulente (2005), a non-profit organization that produces a traveling documentary film festival in Mexico. The festival has brought over 200 documentaries to communities across the country in just five years.
Cruz studied film theory at the London College of Printing, and previously obtained a B.A. degree from the New York’s School of Visual Arts.