Leonor Varela talks about producing the fantasy film Call of the Sea

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Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

Leonor Varela told SCI FI Wire that she's set to star in and produce Caleuche: El Llamado del Mar, or The Call of the Sea, a fantasy film inspired by a myth from her native Chile.

"The Call of the Sea is a movie that I'm producing in Chile," the actress (Blade II) said in an exclusive interview last week in New York while promoting her latest project, the sci-fi movie Sleep Dealer. "It's been in the works for quite some time, and it's the biggest-budget movie from Chile. It's a fantasy movie. It's based on a legend. Not unlike Pan's Labyrinth, we took a myth from the south of Chile and we made it into a movie story."

Varela added, "The premise is that there is a ghost ship called Caleuche, which nobody can pronounce, by the way, so that will not be the title! This boat is a Spanish ship that comes, and it disappears. Fishermen make deals with it. So if they need more fish, if they want a marriage, love, they'll make a pact and they'll sell their souls to this ghost ship. My character returns to the island where her grandfather lived, to kind of find out who she was and unravel the mystery around it."

The Call of the Sea will be directed and co-written by Jorge Olguin (Solos). Varela, who makes her producing debut with the film, noted that it's a challenge to wear two hats. "Oh my God, it's so much work," she said. "I can't even explain. It's just a completely different game. So far we've shot a teaser. We have not completed the production yet. Hopefully we will this year."