CANNES: Films Distribution Takes ‘Magical Girl’

Drama marks sophomore outing of fast-on-the-rise Carlos Vermut

PARIS – Zeroing on one of the most talked-about young talents in Spain, Paris-based international sales company Films Distribution has acquired international rights to “Magical Girl,” the second feature by fast-on-the-rise writer-director Carlos Vermut.

Films Distribution will screen the first images in a trailer at next week’s Cannes market.

Bursting onto the scene with 2012’s “Diamond Flash,” an unsettling puzzle-thriller, for his sophomore outing, “Magical Girl,” Vermut teamed with Madrid-based Aqui y Alli, run by Pedro Hernandez Santos, producers of 2012 Critics’ Week winner “Aquí y alla.”

Now in post-production, “Magical Girl” turns on a father who attempts to fulfill the last wish to of his daughter, who is battling leukemia, and buy a unique replica of a dress she sees worn on TV. But he has no money: a worthy gesture sparks a spiral of blackmail and vicious circles, where sex, instinct and reason struggle in a tragic battle.

“This is one of the best movies to come out of Spain this year,” said Brigaud-Robert.

Avalon will distribute “Magical Girl” in Spain.

Jose Sacristan, one of Spain most esteemed veteran actors, stars with Barbara Lennie (“The Skin I Live In”) and Luis Bermejo (“Solitary Fragments”).

“This is a sexy, troubling, it’s a drama that takes twists and turns and puts you on the edge of your seat. And the solid acting brings this movie to the highest international standards,” said Films Distribution partner Nicolas Brigaud-Robert.

“Despite a lack of financing and economic downturn, there is still much innovation, talent, and amazing stories being told in Spain, and more competition among sales agents for the few quality features being made, so we are excited to have this title” he added.

At Cannes, Films Distribution has a knack of placing its pick-ups among the five-or-six titles in parallel sections which go on to spark buzz, sometimes controversy, but also prizes and sales.

Ricky Panh’s “The Missing Picture,” which topped Un Certain Regard, was a prime example of this in 2013.

At Cannes this year, Films Distribution has scored a great Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight opening slot for Celine Sciammi’s “Girlhood,” the third installment of her movie on teenage life and young women, after “Water Lilies” and “Tomboy.”

Shown to selected buyers at Berlin, Films Distribution will also be screening a full-blown promo-reel of “The New Girlfriend,” the next movie by Francois Ozon.

“Gett, the Trial of Viviane Amsalem,” from Ronit and Schlomi Elkabetz, charts one woman’s five-year battle to get divorced in Israel. Pascale Ferran’s long-awaited “Bird People” plays Un Certain Regard.

Brought on to the market at Berlin with large success, Films Distribution will also screen “Goal of the Dead,” the latest genre movie. Te Paris-based sales company is accustomed to acquire one genre movie a year.

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