Todo Cine Latino, the speciality label of Paul Hudson’s Outsider Pictures, has teamed with Canada’s AZ Films to acquire North America rights to “Marshland” (“La Isla Minima”), one of Spain’s biggest recent movie hits.
The fifth feature from Alberto Rodriguez (“Unit 7,” “7 Virgins”), “Marshland,” a noir-ish period cop thriller, has ticked multiple boxes, including scooping 10 Spanish Academy Goya Awards, among them best picture, director and actor (Javier Gutierrez).
Produced by Atresmedia Cine, Sacromonte Films and Atipica Films, and a competition frontrunner at San Sebastian, where it world premiered Sept. 20, winning the jury prize and best actor (Gutierrez), “Marshland” went on to gross €7.5 million ($8.4 million) in Spain, a standout achievement for its distributor, Warner Bros. Entertainment España.
With the North American deal in place, Film Factory has sold “Marshland” to every major territory worldwide. After “Wild Tales” (10 nominations), “Marshland” now figures with nine category recognitions as the leading contender for 2015’s Platino Awards, taking in movies from Spain, Latin America and Portugal, which takes place July 18 in Marbella.
Written by Rodriguez and his near-career-long co-scribe Rafael Cobos, and set in Spain’s deep South in 1980, “Marshland” begins in classic crime thriller style with two homicide detectives, one a Francoist hardliner, the othe younger and more pliable with a bright future ahead of him in Madrid, being called in to investigate the disappearance of two teen girls on Seville’s flatlands, a sprawling marsh expanse of stunning natural beauty and base poverty ruled by a few families certainly not willing to give up their centuries-old power and privileges – economic, social or of droit du seigneur.
“Marshland” impressed for its stunning, often kinetic, and varied cinematography: It’s made up of some 170 sequences, some multi-shot, some not. It also won critical plaudits for the interplay between the two cops who realize that they must put aside their personal differences if they’re to stop a serial killer, and the shaded balance of its portrait of one, played by Gutierrez. Capable of absolute heroism, he also tortured suspects under Franco and will never be hauled up in court for that.
Paul Hudson, CEO of Outsider Pictures, and Antoine Zeind of AZ Films closed the North American deal with Vicente Canales of Film Factory.
“’Marshland’ has been compared to everything from the first season of ‘True Detective’ to ‘Seven,’ and is a first class thriller, and the Goya Awards are a testament to the quality of the filmmaking,” said Hudson.
Todo Cine Latino will look to build word-of-mouth via festivals; AZ will release the film in Canada on Aug. 14, while Outsider will release in the U.S. on Aug. 21 in Miami, where “Marshland” had its U.S. premiere in March at the Miami Film Festival.
“Marshland” will then be released on digital streaming site Todocinelatino.com, which is dedicated to the release of the best in Latin Cinema in North America. That is no pipedream. Past TCL titles include Amat Escalante’s Cannes director winner “Heli,” Brazilian Fernando Coimbra’s “A Wolf at the Door,” one of the bestsellers on the sales books of Mundial, an IM Global-Canana joint venture, and, again from Spain, David Trueba’s 2014 Goya winner “Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed.”