Sale underscores breakout appeal of select Latin American titles
MADRID — Underscoring the breakout sales potential of accessible Latin American movies, HBO has acquired U.S. pay TV rights to Julio Jorquera’s Chilean title “My Last Round.”Berlin-based M-Appeal, the film’s sales agent, negotiated the deal. “Round” will broadcast this fall on HBO Latino, the paybox’s Stateside Spanish-language feed, mixing HBO original series from the U.S. and Latin American, plus standout Latin American movies. The U.S. pick-up adds to 15-or-so territory deals including, of major markets, France (BQHL Productions), Benelux (ABC Distribution), Germany (Bildkraft), Italy (Atlantide) and the U.K. (Peccadillo Pictures). Produced by Chile’s Umanafilms and U.S.-premiered at Tribeca last year, “Round” turns on the love story of a successful Chilean boxer and a male kitchen assistant. Like many recent Chilean films — think Marialy Rivas’ “Young & Wild” or Pablo Larrain’s Sony Pictures Classics Cannes pick-up, “No” — “Round” shows characters breaking with a conservative past. But “Round” also “translates quite a classic narrative to an unusual context, encouraging large audience emotional involvement,” said M-Appeal CEO Maren Kroymann. According to Kroymann, this gives “Round” three potential demos: “gay spectators, who are very loyal, Latinos and Latin Americans, and general audiences.” She added that “almost all” M-Appeal’s Latin American titles sell to the U.S., given its large Latino community. One of Europe’s leading Latin American pic specialists, M-Appeal has just acquired worldwide rights outside Spain, Germany, Chile and Guatemala to Julio Hernandez Cordon’s Toronto Contemporary World Cinema player “Dust,” which world preemed in competition at Locarno. Cordon’s follow-up to San Sebastian 2008 Horizontes Latinos winner “Gasolina” and “Marimbas From Hell,” which topped Morelia in 2010, dual-story line “Dust” turns on the emotional legacy of the past, in the aftermath of Guatemala’s 1960-96 Civil War.