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Mexican distributor grows U.S. arm

Gussi Films launching Distrimax June 27th

HOLLYWOOD — Gussi Films, Mexico’s largest indie distributor, is launching Distrimax, its U.S. theatrical distrib, on June 27 in New York with Spanish/Argentine co-production “Elsa y Fred.”

Distrimax aims to release four Spanish-language pics theatrically and some 40 titles on DVD per year in the U.S., according to Gussi chief Horacio Altamirano.

Other pics on its slate include Mexican helmer-scribe Rodrigo Pla’s dramas “La zona” (The Zone) and “Desierto adentro” (The Desert Within) as well as Mexican chick flick “Cansado de besar sapos” (Tired of Kissing Toads), by Jorge Colon, and Andi Baiz’s “Satanas,” Colombia’s recent entry in the foreign-language film Oscar race.

Distrimax entered the U.S. homevideo market more than a year ago, releasing pics through Lionsgate and First Look. 

“We think the timing is right to take over the reins of our DVD distribution and enter the U.S. theatrical market,” said Altamirano.

Distrimax is planning a platform release of “Elsa y Fred” aimed mainly at arthouse auds. It opens in Los Angeles on July 11 followed by at least 18 other cities.

“Sapos,” starring Ana Serradilla, who plays Gabrielle Solis in Univision’s version of “Desperate Housewives,” will target the mainstream Spanish-language market.

Altamirano has hired Los Angeles-based Spanish-language DVD distrib Peter Marai as a consultant and M.J. Peckos of Mitropoulos Films to handle theatrical bookings.

Asked how the company plans to avoid the fate of Televisa Cine, the U.S. distrib of Mexican media conglom Televisa, which shuttered after just a few releases in the U.S., Altamirano said, “We will keep our overheads low, start small and be very selective with our titles.”

“Sapos” is slated for an early August release, while the other pics will likely come out in the fall, said Marai.

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