MADRID Wild Bunch has initiated major territory sales on Alvaro Longoria’s documentary “Sons of the Clouds,” produced by Javier Bardem, closing Japan with Comstock.
In a separate deal, Spain’s Wanda Films will release “Sons” on 20 prints in major cities on May 18 — a muscular theatrical roll-out for a docu-feature in the country.
Cameo will handle Spanish DVD distribution, arthouse indie service Filmin and other Spanish platforms will guide its VOD launch.
Longoria’s directorial debut explains how the Morocco-annexed Western Sahara ended up as Africa’s last colony, leaving 200,000 Saharawis living in desert refugee camps, mostly in South-West Algeria.
Elena Anaya, star of Pedro Almodovar’s “The Skin I Live In,” will provide the Spanish voiceover. An as yet undisclosed celebrity will supply the voiceover for the English-language release, Longoria said.
“Javier Bardem’s media presence gives the film more possibilities, and the Western Sahara’s plight has had large repercussions in Spain,” said Miguel Morales, at Wanda Films.
Doc world preemed as a Berlinale Special at February’s Berlin Film Festival and will screen at the Cannes market, which kicks off May 16.
Bardem appears in the film as its producer, attempting in vain to score interviews with Moroccan authorities, and explaining to camera his interest in the Sahara.
“Sons” is produced by Bardem’s Pinguin Films, Longoria’s Morena Films and Candescent Films in the U.S.
“The Western Sahara is a specific case. But the film also shows the realpolitik practised by democratic countries, which mean human rights are not a priority in international diplomacy,” Longoria said.