Goya winner closes France, Japan

Underscoring a healthy international market for higher-profile foreign-language thrillers, “No Rest for the Wicked,” the biggest winner at Sunday’s Spanish Academy Goya Awards, clinched key territory sales at Berlin.

Former Gaumont execs Loic Trocme and Yves Chevalier’s new Gallic distribution operation Synergy Cinema has licensed France; Shochiku has closed Japan.

Filmax Intl. also licensed much of Latin America, said Ivan Diaz, head of Filmax’s international division.

“Rest” won six prizes Sunday night at the 26th Spanish Academy Goya Awards, including best film, director, original screenplay (Michel Gaztambide and Urbizu) and actor for Jose Coronado.

Pic’s Goya nominations sparked large interest in Berlin, Diaz said. Its win will now help drive further sales, he added, saying Filmax was now in talks for the U.S., U.K. and Germany.

A return to form for helmer Enrique Urbizu who’s directed notable noirish thrillers such as 2002′s “Box 507,” “No Rest” also marks a career highpoint for Coronado.

The Spanish actor plays a washed-up, trigger-happy cop who kills three Colombians in a booze-befuddled state, trails the only witness into Madrid’s immigrant demi-monde, and stumbles across a Muslim terrorist cell.

Sales mark further biz for “No Rest,” which world premiered to a fervent reception from Spain’s press at September’s San Sebastian festival.

Distributed by Warner Bros., it went on to score an upbeat €4 million ($5.2 million) at the Spanish B.O.

“No Rest” will be released theatrically in France after screening at late March’s Beaune Thriller Festival, Gaul’s key thriller/film noir confab.

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