Spanish distrib to sell Leon hit at AFM

MADRID — Gearing up for the American Film Market, Sogecable distribution house Sogepaq has taken international rights outside North America to Spanish cinema’s biggest arthouse crossover hit this year, Fernando Leon’s “Princesas” (Princesses).

North American rights are retained by the film’s producers, Reposado and Mediapro, and are being represented by Los Angeles-based producer Sergio Aguero.

“Princesses” charts the growing friendship between two women, one Spanish the other Dominican, who both work as prostitutes. Distributed in Spain by Sogepaq through Warner Sogefilms, a joint venture with WB, pic has taken Euros4.9 million ($5.8 million) in Spain, a large sum for a film with a social conscience.

Its success builds on Leon de Aranoa’s previous pic, the Javier Bardem-starrer “Mondays in the Sun,” about laid-off dockyard workers, which notched up $11.7 million in Spain.

“Sogepaq is very proud to renew its association with Fernando Leon, having represented ‘Mondays in the Sun,’” said Sogecine/Sogepaq director of production and international Simon de Santiago.

“Princesses” is one of five Sogepaq AFM market preems, along with old-age romcom “Elsa & Fred” from Marcos Carnevale, which has been a standout B.O. performer in Argentina, Isidro Ortiz’s sci-fi thriller “Somniac,” boisterous ‘80s musical comedy “El Calentito,” from Chus Gutierrez, and “Real Madrid, the Movie,” the first movie production of Real Madrid soccer club whose player stars include David Beckham and Ronaldo.

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