HBO ‘Curves’ into distrib’n

'Memento' team reforms to release look at Latino life

HBO Films has made a deal with Newmarket Films’ distribution arm to handle the North American theatrical release of the HBO Films-produced “Real Women Have Curves.” The feature directing bow of Patricia Cardoso is slated for an October release.

This is the first domestic release for HBO Films. Pic will go under the HBO Films banner in association with Newmarket’s new theatrical distribution division, headed by Bob Berney.

Berney first teamed with Newmarket for the release of the indie hit “Memento.”

“‘Real Women Have Curves’ is a remarkable movie and one of the few films that takes an honest and candid look at the Latino experience,” said HBO Films president Colin Callender. “In the past, we resisted selling our films to distributors, but this provides us with a real opportunity to release the movie under the HBO Films banner, and thereby extend the HBO brand into the theatrical marketplace.”

“Curves,” which George LaVoo and Josefina Lopez adapted from Lopez’s autobiographical play, tells the story of a first-generation young Mexican-American woman from East Los Angeles who struggles to strike a balance between her mainstream ambitions and her cultural heritage.

Produced by LaVoo and Effie T. Brown, the picture won this year’s aud award at the Sundance Film Festival as well as a special jury prize for the performances of America Ferrera and Lupe Ontiveros. The script earned fest’s Humanitas Award.

Most recently, “Curves” was the opening-night film of the New Directors, New Films series at the New York Museum of Modern Art.

William Tyrer and Chris Ball’s Newmarket Capital Group recently produced or co-produced “Memento, “Cruel Intentions,” “The Mexican” and “The Skulls.” Under its film-financing banner, Newmarket has been involved in more than 75 features, including “The Importance of Being Ernest,” “Topsy-Turvy” and “The Usual Suspects.”

The company recently launched a not-yet-named distribution arm to be headed by Berney that will release up to 10 films a year. Prior to joining Newmarket, Berney was senior VP at IFC Films, where he was responsible for platforming such recent independent hits as “Y Tu Mama Tambien” and “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.”

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