Wide sells ‘Leo’s Room’ to U.S.

Ventana Sur closes with multiple deals

The first Ventana Sur film mart in Buenos Aires, a joint venture of the Cannes market and Argentina’s Incaa Film Institute, wrapped amid a flurry of deals.

Paris-based sales and production company Wide Management closed U.S. rights on “Leo’s Room” with the Global Film Foundation, which plans a New York run in January.

A tale of teen sexual confusion from Uruguay’s Enrique Buchichio, “Room” is also in negotiations with a U.S.-based company for a U.K. distribution deal.

Latter accord will also include Argentina’s “Vil romance,” Jose Celestino Campusano’s tale of sexual awakening.

“Room” was just one of a slew of films that saw deals, negotiations or at least expressions of interest from buyers. Most ongoing talks may not see distributors inking memo deals until they reconvene in Berlin.

But deals and sales traction were clear by the time Ventana Sur ended its four-day run Monday, Dec. 1, with the event judged a success by most participants.

Elba McAllister’s Cineplex took rights for Colombia, Central America and Ecuador on Alvaro Brechner’s “Bad Day to Go Fishing,” a Western-esque tale set in a one-horse Uruguayan town.

Much concrete biz at Ventana Sur involved Latin American film specialists. Ondamax inked with Korea’s Entermode on Ana Luiza Azevedo’s “When the World Ends,” one of many coming-of-age tales at the market, plus catalog title “Samba Poet.”

Ondamax also sold steamy Mexican small-town drama “Deseo” to Korea’s Sonamu Pictures, “Cochochi” to Ibermedia TV and Walter Doehner’s “Teo’s Journey” to SVT for free TV in Sweden.

Guadalajara-based Latinofusion sold U.S. theatrical and DVD rights on “Nora’s Will” (aka “5 Days Without Nora”) to Menemsha Films. One of the best-selling Latin American pics over the last 12 months, the Mar del Plata winner was currying buyer interest in territories where still available by market’s end.

A Ventana Sur standout, Juan Jose Campanella’s Argentina-Spain smash hit “The Secret in Their Eyes,” sold by Latido, had offers from Italy and Germany, two of the few main territories remaining.

Deals worked a two-way street between Europe and Latin America.

Buenos Aires’ FilmSharks Intl. sold marital separation comedy “A Boyfriend for My Wife” to a soon-to-be-announced U.S. broadcaster. Theatrical and DVD are under negotiation, FilmSharks Intl.’s Guido Rud said at Ventana Sur.

Gateno has taken rights to Peru on “Boyfriend” plus Finnish foreign language Oscar entry “Letters to Father Jacob.”

At market close, Primer Plano was negotiating deals on multiple titles with Latin American paybox Lap TV, the U.S., Colombia, Peru, France, Germany, Argentina and Spain, said topper Pascual Condito.

These were led by four higher-profile Argentine titles: Diego Rafacas’ ensemble drug rehab drama “Paco,” Juan Daniel Bustamante’s “Andres no quiere dormir la siesta,” Alberto Lecchi’s “El frasco” and Julia Solomonoff’s “The Last Summer of La Boyita.”

“Clearly some companies are doing deals on the spot or following up on discussions, but the most important thing is what we take away in terms of following up on titles,” Mark Adams, director of cinema at London’s ICA Films, said in Buenos Aires.

As some sales agents took back-to-back meetings at the former Harrods department store, an inkling to sales traction on a bevy of other titles was given by buyers’ reactions at Cinemark Puerto Madero cinema theater, in Buenos Aires’ redeveloped port district. Ventana Sur used the multiplex to screen 48 titles and 12 films in rough cut, in a Primer Corte strand.

Ventana Sur’s nearest thing to a bidding war was sparked by Michael Rowe’s rough cut of Mexican pic “Leap Year,” judged a highly marketable sex drama/love story. By Sunday night, four sales companies were circling “Year.”

Of other Primer Corte titles, Fernando Spinner’s gaucho oater “Aballay” received applause, as did Santago Svirisky’s acid tale of false femme friendship, “Mean and Lean Cows.”

“Roman,” Chilean Sebastian Brahm’s sophisticated tale of academic ambition, and Martin Boulocq’s “Los viejos,” a Bolivian tale of reconciliation with the past, also had admirers.

Other favorites listed by foreign distributors included “Undertow,” a three-way love triangle with gay romance and a dose of magic realism from Peru’s Javier Fuentes Leon; “Hiroshima,” the first solo feature from Uruguay’s Stoll (“Whisky”), chronicling a day in a teen’s life; and “Vaho,” from Mexico’s Alejandro Gerber, a time-jumping redemption tale.

Of other key titles, Rezo was in talks by market end to sell Bogota mean streets drama “Blood and Rain”; and MK2 had initiated conversations on Pedro Gonzalez Rubio’s docu chill-out movie “To the Sea,” in which a father and young son fish, laze and bond on Mexico’s Banco Chinchorro coral reef.

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