Caracas soccer drama is Venezuela's Oscar entry

MADRID — Music Box has picked up U.S. rights to Venezuela Oscar submission “Hermano” (Brother).

The directorial debut of Marcel Rasquin, “Brother” was one of the highest-profile pics to hit early December’s Ventana Sur in Buenos Aires without a sales agent attached, though a bevy were seen circling it at the market.

A best pic winner at the Moscow and Huelva fests, the Caracas mean streets tale of two bros’ soccer dreams marks the directorial debut of 34-year-old Marcel Rasquin, who studied film in Oz where he co-wrote “Hermano” with Aussie pal Rohan Jones.

“Hermano” also underscores a building Latin American sub-genre, seen in upcoming pics such as Sundance thriller “Cinema Hold-U,” or last October’s Morelia fest winner “Marimbas from Hell,” of dramas about frustrated aspirations.

In “Hermano,” the brothers’ dreams of hitting the soccer big time comes into increasing conflict with the codes of a local crime syndicate.

Deal was mooted at Ventana Sur by Juan Antonio Diaz, production director at “Brother’s” A&B Producciones, and Music Box’s William Schopf and Edward Arentz. It was closed last week, Diaz said.

Chicago-based Music Box is one of the U.S.’s most active indie distribs, buying European titles such as Niels Arden Oplev’s “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” Guillaume Canet’s “Tell No One” — one of the biggest recent U.S. hits among French-language films — and Andrea Dresen’s “Cloud 9.”

“Brother” will bow Stateside late spring.

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