Martin Scorsese has come on board to executive produce the next feature by young Argentine director Celina Murga.

He met Murga through the year-long Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. During the mentor year (which ended in June 2009), they worked on the treatment and script for the project.

Her third feature is The Third Side of the River (La Tercer Orilla), about a 16-year-old choosing between his own dream’s and his father’s wishes.

The film will be a production from Tresmilmundos Cine, a company set up by Murga, her husband Juan Villegas, who is a director, scriptwriter and producer, and Inés Gamarci, a musician and producer.

Also, the Rolex Arts Initiative is backing the project with $25,000.

“He played a big part, but it was in a very human way,” Murga said of Scorsese’s advice. “He was very generous with his time and encouraged me to ask him for what I really needed instead of pushing me to do things his way.”

She added that Scorsese had advised her to work with an outside scriptwriter/director and that he had been “very happy” with the result. He had also expressed interest in being involved in the editing of the film “because I think that that’s what he really loves to be involved with”, Murga added. “And now he will be executive producer of The Third Side of the River – it is just amazing.”

His support will also be useful in providing funding and support from Europe and the US, she added.

Her previous films are Anna and the Others (Ana y los otros) and A Week Alone (Una semana solos).

During the year, Murga also had the chance to watch Scorsese at work shooting and editing Shutter Island.

Also, a TV special to be shown on More4 in the UK will show Scorsese and Murga working together. The Close Up series examines other mentors in The Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, such as Peter Hall, Julie Taymor, Toni Morrison, Stephen Frears and Mira Nair. The series kicks off with Scorsese’s episode on Dec 20.