Sonamu Pictures takes 'Deseo'

BUENOS AIRES — Eric Mathis’ Miami-based sales and production company Ondamax Films has closed South Korea with Entermode on “Before the World Ends” and with Sonamu Pictures for “Deseo.”

Ondamax has also closed Ricardo Ven Steen’s biopic “Samba Poet” with Entermode and with TV Globo for free-to-air rights for Brazil.

Sales come as Ondamax advances production on Bahia street kids pic “Captain of the Sand” and Brazilian period drama “Old Mountain.”

“World” and “Deseo” deals are for theatrical and video rights. The “World” acquisition kicks off sales on the feature film debut of Brazil’s Ana Luiza Azevedo.

Screening at Ventana Sur, which started Friday in Buenos Aires, “World” turns on a teen’s life as seen by his 7-year-old sister. Pic won director, cinematography and the critics’ award at Brazil’s Paulinia fest.

Now in post-production, steamy drama “Deseo,” from Mexican actor-director Antonio Zavala Kugler, is set in an apparently traditional, but sex-steeped, Mexican village.

In further licensing pacts, Ondamax has closed pan-Latin American rights with Ibermedia TV on Laura Guzman and Israel Cardenas’ Toronto New Discovery award-winner “Cochochi.”

Ondamax has also sold Walter Doehner’s “Teo’s Journey” to SVT for free TV in Sweden, and free and pay TV rights to SBS for Australia on Philippe Barcinski’s Brazilian contempo relationship tale “Not By Chance.”

Four out of the five titles are their directors’ first or second feature films.

“We will continue to be involved in smaller films by new directors, but the little company is getting a bit bigger so will be involved in bigger projects which we also like,” Mathis said at Ventana Sur.

“After operating for two-and-a-half years, ‘Captain of the Sand’ is the most ambitious film ever,” he added.

Budgeted at $4 million, and based on a classic 1937 novel “Capitaes de Areia” by Brazilian writer Jorge Amado, which is being directed by his grand-daughter Cecilia Amado, “Captain” is now in post.

About a gang of street children living on the beach in Salvador da Bahia in northeastern Brazil, “Captain” is produced by Bruno Stroppiano at Sky Light Cinema, Ondamax, Tino Navarro’s MGN Filmes in Portugal and Telecine, the movie channel of Brazilian paybox Globosat.

Top indie distributor Imagem has taken Brazil, and is readying a wide 300-screen release, Mathis said.

Directed by Brazilian theater director Gulu Monteiro, “Old Mountain” is set in the epic highland of Minas in central Brazil.

Billed as a Brazilian “Novecento,” it charts the childhood friendship and adult-life confrontation of a rich landowner’s son and the son of his humble foreman.

The $4 million-$5 million pic will shoot in English with a cast that includes U.S. thesps. Clara Bellar (“A.I. Artificial Intelligence”) and Rodrigo Santoro (“300”) have made commitments to the film. Lesley Kreuger (“Silent Hill”) has been brought in as co-scriptwriter/script doctor.

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