Eimbcke a talent to watch
Emerging as a Berlinale arthouse sales hit, “Lake Tahoe” — from hot Mexican director Fernando Eimbcke — has been snapped up in 10 territories off its Berlin competition screening.Deals, all signed in Berlin and all contemplating theatrical runs, were clinched by the film’s sales agent, Paris-based Funny Balloons. Of major territories, Ad Vitam Distribution has taken France. Italy has been licensed to top Italo arthouse company Lady Film. Frenetic Films, a major Swiss quality film buyer, has closed Switzerland. Imagine Films has closed Belgium, Filmfreak Distributie the Netherlands, Seven Films Greece. Poland went to Vivarto. Funny Balloons has begun to roll out “Tahoe” in Eastern Europe and Latin America. According to Balloons’ Peter Danner, at least 10 more territories will close in the next few weeks. Eimbcke’s follow-up to “Duck Season,” “Tahoe” won the award for best competition film from the international critics’ association, Fipresci, and the Alfred Bauer Prize 2008 for innovation. “Tahoe” is produced by Cine Pantera’s Christian Valdelievre, who also produced Rodrigo Pla’s “The Zone.” Eimbcke is a leading light of Mexico’s wave of young filmmakers, alongside Pla, Amat Escalante, whose “Bastards” may be Cannes-bound, and Patricia Riggen, whose “Under the Same Moon” is a Fox Searchlight release Stateside. Balloons also distributed “Season,” which licensed to 30 countries including the U.S. (Warner Independent), the U.K. (Optimum) and Japan (Laidback Corp.). “We’ll match or exceed that,” Danner said. “We know we’ll have a distributor in the U.S. It’s just a matter of ‘Who?’ and ‘For how much?’ ‘Tahoe’s’ a quality film and (Eimbcke)’s a director people are definitely interested in following,” he added.