Cannes Film Review: 'Wakolda' by Lucia

Over 30 territories sold on Lucia Puenzo thriller

SAN SEBASTIAN — Closing a U.S. deal with Sam Goldwyn Films for the U.S., which was announced Monday, France’s Pyramide Intl. has also rolled out sales on Lucia Puenzo’s “Wakolda,” which played San Sebastian’s Horizontes Latinos, to over 30 territories around the world.

Samuel Goldwyn will release “Wakolda” in the U.S. under the title of “The German Doctor.”

Company L has taken rights to Korea, Hagi to Poland, Vertigo to Hungary and Obala Art Center to former-Yugoslavia.

Cleaning up most of Latin America, “Wakolda” has also closed Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic (Weisner Distribution), Costa Rica and Panama (Palmera Intl.), Colombia (Cine Colombia), Peru (Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Peru), Bolivia and Chile (Los Films de la Arcadia).

In Puenzo’s native Argentina, “Wakolda” looks set to sell 100,000 tix in its first week off a 70-print-run.

At Cannes, Pyramide closed Australia/New Zealand with Madman Ent., the U.K. and Ireland with Peccadillo Pictures, and Italy with Academy Two, among major territiories.

Greece (Videorama), Switzerland (Xenix Film Distribution), Israel (Nachshon Films), Taiwan (Swallow Wings Films) and Turkey (Medyavizion) also sold.

Jean-Thomas Bernardini’s Imovision, one of Latin America’s most active arthouse buyers, acquired rights to Brazil at Berlin.

“Wakolda” reps an increasingly typical step-up in scale and ambition for a generation of Latin American directors which broke through in the last decade, have won festival plaudits abroad, and now want to reach larger audiences at home and abroad while avoiding careers in button-holing social realism.

“The film’s subject is fascinating, since Mengele’s real history in Argentina is still clouded in uncertainty,” said Pyramide head Eric Lagesse.

“Lucia Puenzo has perfectly meshed a small story and big history. The fact that this extraordinary historical figure comes to a family without any history allows spectators to get into the film and ask themselves what they would have done in this situation.”

“’Wakolda’ has attracted distributors because it is a very-well crafted and ambitious film. Where every detail is care for,” added Lucero Garzon, Pyramide Intl. head of sales.

“The cinematography of Nicolas Puenzo is powerful, the music underscores the constant narrative tension, and the performances of Alex Brendemuhl and Florencia Bado are formidable,” she added.

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