Spain’s Alta takes four Toronto pics

Distrib nabs 'Capitalism,' 'Heart,' 'Lourdes,' 'Love'

SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain — Alta Films, Spain’s top arthouse/crossover distributor, has closed Spanish rights on four Toronto players: Michael Moore’s “Capitalism: A Love Story,” “A Good Heart,” “Lourdes” and “I Am Love.”

An “all-out assault against the racket polite people like to call ‘Wall Street’ ” in Moore’s words, “Capitalism” world preemed at Venice.

Well-reviewed — Variety called it “a superb achievement” — Luca Guadagnino’s “I Am Love,” toplines Tilda Swinton in a Milanese industrial family saga.

One of Coproduction Office’s best-selling pics, “Lourdes” — the third film from Austria’s Jessica Hausner (“Lovely Rita,” “Hotel”) — follows a young handicapped woman receiving treatment in Lourdes.

“The Good Heart,” sold by Wild Bunch, is directed by Iceland’s Dagur Kari (“Noi Albinoi”). It turns on a bartender training his substitute, a young homeless man.

Alta’s buys underscore just how much Toronto has grown.

Once seen by European sales agents as a launchpad for a North American sales, Toronto is now also used by Euro distributors as the key post-high summer meet to snag both mainstream and arthouse/crossover films, so giving Venice a miss.

“Toronto is indispensable. Everybody and all the films are there,” said Alta acquisitions head Enrique Gonzalez Kuhn.

The four buys continue Alta’s policy, Gonzalez Kuhn added, of buying films that can play both in subtitled and dubbed versions.

The “Capitalism” pickup continues Moore’s relationship with Alta. The Madrid-based distributor-exhibitor bought both “Bowling for Columbine” and “Fahrenheit 9/11.”

“I Am Love” follows upbeat results for Alta with both “Gomorrah,” which grossed Euros2.4 million ($3.4 million) in Spain, and Gianni di Gregorio’s “Mid-August Lunch” ($1.3 million).

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