Helmer Mandoki shot pic alongside 'Amapola'

Twentieth Century Fox Mexico has picked up the Mexican distribution rights to Luis Mandoki’s “Casas de Carton” (working title). Company is in talks to acquire Latin American rights.

Local pickup is Fox’s second this year after gay comedy “7 mujeres, un homosexual y Carlos” in June.

“Casas de Carton” is Mandoki’s first Mexican film in decades. He returned to Mexico last year to shoot “Casas” and drug-trade drama “Amapola” back-to-back.

Written by Salvadorean Oscar Torres, “Casas de Carton” is based on Torres’ experience in war-torn El Salvador in the mid-’80s when he had to choose, at age 11, between joining the army and fighting alongside the guerrillas.

“Casas De Carton” producers include Lawrence Bender and his company A Band Apart; Mexico’s Altavista; Alejandro Soberon, the head of Altavista parent company CIE; and Mandoki. Fernando Gonzalez Compean, former director general of Altavista and partner Miguel Necoechea of Corona Films, exec produce. Altavista’s Monica Lozano also serves as executive producer.

Pic stars Leonor Varela, Jose Maria Yazpik, Ofelia Medina, Daniel Gimenez Cacho and newcomer Carlos Padilla.

Lions Gate Films Intl. has acquired worldwide distribution rights, excluding the Americas. L.A.-based Traction Media represents pic in the U.S.

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