MADRID — Firming up relations with key creative talent, Berlin-based M-Appeal has acquired international sales rights to “Hortensia,” co-helmed by Argentina’s Diego Lublinsky and Alvaro Urtizberea, a co-producer on Lucrecia Martel’s “The Holy Girl.”
A cooky rites-of-passage comedy, “Hortensia” is the second Lublinsky feature M-Appeal has handled after representing his debut, “Three Minutes,” which screened at Sitges in 2007.
A producer-turned-director, Urtizberea has also racked up producer credits at Buenos Aires’ Vista Sur that include“Three Minutes,” Natalia Smirnoff’s “Puzzle,” Daniela Seggiaro’s “Beauty” and co-production of an enterprising Peruvian toon feature, “Rodencia and the Princess’ Tooth.”
Written by Alicia Gimenez Guspi, “Hortensia” centers on a 22-year-old girl, the Hortensia of the title, whose father dies electrocuted while opening the kitchen fridge. She also discovers her boyfriend is cheating on her with her best friend. Alone, apart from her dog, whose days on this earth are numbered, she finds a memo she wrote when 14: “Goals for Happiness”: “Marry a boy who is blond like my father; design the most beautiful shoe in the world.” She sets out to achieve her younger self’s gameplan. But recipes for happiness often go awry.
“What drew us all in to ‘Hortensia’ was the peculiar universe the directors created — a quirky storyline supported by a meticulously crafted aesthetic setting and structured film language, allowing its subtle humor to shine through,” said Maren Kroymann, M-Appeal managing director.
Now completed, “Hortensia” was screened at Ventana Sur’s Work in Progress PCI, organized by Argentina’s Proyecto Cine Independiente.
A longtime TV director, Lublinsky has smallscreen credits that include “El Otro Lado” and “El visitante” in Argentina, “7 Vidas” in Spain, and, once back in his homeland, “15 Años Luz.”
“When we decide to pick up a title, we are convinced and deeply believe in the director’s work regardless if they’re established or not. With debuts or key talents, we see it as our obligation to introduce them to the international market and find maximum exposure for their work,” said Kroymann.
“Through us, they become visible as key talents. We are highly interested in collaborating with them on their future works, and aim to help in building their complete works,” she added, citing M-Appeal’s relationship with Cuba’s Carlos M. Quintela and Russia’s Yury Bykov.