Italians buy ‘Mexican’ remake rights

Immigration-based pic resonates in country

MEXICO CITY — Italo shingle Rodeo Drive has bought the rights to remake Sergio Arau’s 2004 immigration-themed pic “A Day Without a Mexican” for an undisclosed amount.

The deal comes amid Italy’s own national debate on immigration, playing off the original plot that posits what would happen if one day there were no illegal immigrants to work in the nation’s fields, gardens and homes.

“They have the same problems in Europe as in Mexico and the United States with regards to undocumented (workers),” said Arau in a statement released by Mexican film institute Imcine. “The Italians really enjoyed the film, and we signed a contract with them so that they might develop the project in the next two years.”

Rome-based Rodeo Drive is a film and TV production shingle headed by Marco Poccioni and Marco Valsania. Its titles include Pappi Corsicato’s “The Seed of Discord,” which screened in Venice in 2008.

“A Day Without a Mexican” was a joint production among Imcine, U.S. shingles Eye on the Ball Films, Jose and Friends Inc. and RTG Prods. and Spain’s Plural Entertainment. Budgeted at an estimated $1.5 million, it was Mexico’s top domestic grosser of 2004 at $5.8 million and made $4.18 million in the U.S.

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