FilmSharks sells Colombian drama to N. America

MADRID — Gerardo E. Dominguez’s L.A.-based Goldmine Pictures has acquired all North American rights to Colombian drama-thriller “La Milagrosa,” which is sold by Guido Rud’s FilmSharks Intl.

Based on a true case, and directed by Rafa Lara, “Milagrosa” chalked up 250,000 admissions in Colombia.

It chronicles the abduction of a young Colombian, the son of a wealthy businessman, and his life-changing experience as a prisoner of Colombia’s Farc guerrillas.

Goldmine plans an 80-copy U.S. release by the end of 2009, a large U.S. print-run for most foreign-language films.

Pic’s music is by Colombian rock artists Juanes, Aterciopelados and The Hall Effect.

“We believe in the director and the film has played very well at festivals,” said Dominguez, who added he plans to release 12 Spanish-language films a year in the U.S.

In a separate FilmSharks deal, PFI Films has taken all Italian rights to Mexican Pancho Rodriguez’s “Calling an Angel,” which BVI put out successfully in Mexico. Cinema Without Frontiers will bow “Angel” theatrically in Russia Aug. 20.

FilmSharks sales underscore the growing international prospects for Latin America films, driven by the re-emergence of a mainstream local film industry in many parts of the region, led by Colombia, Mexico and Argentina.

Handling a bevy of local hits — such as Argentina’s “A Boyfriend for my Wife,” which sold 1.5 million tickets in Argentina, and Mexico’s “Tear This Heart Out,” which took 2 million admissions in Mexico — FilmSharks is seeing an increasing number of significant theatrical openings abroad for films on its sales slate.

Spain’s Festival Films will put out “Boyfriend” on around 70 copies July 10; Wanda releases “Heart” on more than 80 prints July 27.

“We’re focusing on an eclectic lineup of quality crowdpleasers, which can open theatrically outside their country of origin,” said Rud.

FilmSharks will continue to handle more out-there art films fest hits, however.

One, Paula Hernandez’s “Rain,” a conversation-piece set in a car during a downpour in Buenos Aires, won the main award at December’s Mannheim-Heidelberg Festival. It has just been picked up for all French-speaking territories by Les Grands Films Classiques.

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