BUENOS AIRES – In a pre-emptive pounce before 2014’s big first-quarter fests, Buenos Aires-based FilmSharks International has snapped up world sales rights to Daniel Burman’s “The Mystery of Happiness,” one of the most-awaited Argentine releases of early 2014.
In separate deals, Buena Vista has acquired pan-Latin American theatrical and DVD rights to “Happiness.” Premium feevee movie channel Movie City, a flagship service of the Fox Intl. Channels-owned LAP TV, has taken the coveted premium pay TV window for Latin America, plus SVOD rights.
Offers are now on the table from the U.S., France and Spain, per FilmSharks founder Guido Rud.
First fruit of a pioneering production alliance with Brazil’s Total Filmes, and also co-produced by Argentine broadcaster Telefe, a stalwart supporter of Argentina’s local movie industry, “Happiness” co-stars Guillermo Francella, the principled, if inveterate, barfly of Juan Jose Campanella’s Oscar-winning “The Secret in Their Eyes,” whose latest release, “Corazon de leon,” has run up $10.6 million for Disney in Argentina from an Aug. 15bow.
“Happiness” turns on two business partners who swear nothing, not even love, will come between them. 30 years later, one disappears; the other, looking for him, falls deeply for his wife.
An Argentine film and TV star of the ‘90s, Ines Estevez makes a big-screen comeback playing the partner’s wife.
The director of 2004’s “Lost Embrace,” which won the Grand Jury Prize and a Silver Bear for best actor (Daniel Hendler) at Berlin, Burman is one of the best-known Argentine directors who has broken through in the last 15 of years, having now helmed to date nine features.
Riffing on the contradictions of relationships, these have snagged fest prizes and sales abroad, while cultivating a considerable audience in Argentina.
2012’s “All In” grossed $975,070 for Disney,” “Brother and Sister” $1.8 million in 2010 for Primer Plano. Disney will release “Happiness” in Argentina early 2014 on 200 screens, a big bet for a local movie.
“Having one of the very top Latin-American directors with such a high concept film that satisfies three different market demands is a unique event,” FilmSharks founder Guido Rud commented.
He added: “Is not easy to satisfy festivals and buyers/distributors and the remakes market with one film. That makes this film one in a million. It’s Burman at his very best.”