Mariana Rondon’s “Pelo Malo” (Bad Hair), which vied for the Ibero-American Fiction and Maguey awards at the Guadalajara Int’l Film Fest, sold to Mexico’s Circo 2:12 (Paula Astorga) Friday at the fest, making it the 25th country to nab the young gay drama.
U.S.-based distrib/sales co. FiGa Films snatched Venezuelan pic at Toulouse’s Cinema en Construction last year where it went on to win a string of awards, starting with the Concha de Oro for best film at San Sebastian, a best actress award for lead Samantha Castillo at the Montreal Festival of New Cinema and the Special Jury and Fipresci prizes at the Thessaloniki fest last November.
“It’s our biggest hit ever, we couldn’t be happier,” said FiGa Films’ Sandro Fiorin who founded company with Cuban partner Alex Garcia.
Shot in Caracas, Venezuela for close to $600,000, pic tracks a young 9-year old boy who wants to straighten his curly hair against the wishes of his mother, who’s certain that he’s gay.
“On a fundamental level, I wanted my film to be a reflection on the value of respect for diversity and on another level, a reflection on the polarization of society in Venezuela,” said Rondon.
“It’s hit a nerve with audiences as it’s a multi-layered story; it’s not just about a gay kid but is also set against what’s happening in Venezuela now,” said Garcia.
FiGa plans to release pic in New York and L.A. in July and roll out to other U.S. cities in August and September, per Garcia. Company has also sold it to HBO and HBO Latino for a 7-year run, starting September 2014.
Pic opened in Spain mid-March and is next bowing in France and Switzerland. In the summer, it opens in the U.K, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Venezuela among other territories.
Rondon’s producing partner Marite Ugas will helm their company Sudaca Films’ next pic, as they take turns in producing and directing. Next pic is tentatively titled “Contactado” and dwells on the theme of faith in Latin America.