Imagina Rolls Out Maria Ripoll’s ‘Sandalwood’

East-meets-West melodrama, acquired by Star Ent. in India and Animoproduce in Japan

Madrid-based film and TV rights distributor Imagina International Sales has sealed a raft of territories on Maria Ripoll’s East-meets-West melodrama “Traces of Sandalwood,” including deals for India (Star Ent.) and Japan (Animoproduce).

Imagina has also sold the film to Australia (Leap Frog Films), Turkey (Filmarti Film), South Africa (ForeFront Media), South Korea (Apex Ent.) and Malasia (Suraya Film).

Written and produced by Anna Soler-Pont at Barcelona’s Pontas Films, pic toplines Indian actress Nandita Das (“Fire,” “Earth”) as Mina, a successful Indian actress in Mumbai that can’t forget her little sister Sita, played by Spain’s Aina Clotet (“The Wild Ones,” “Elisa K”), from whom she was forced to separate after their mother’s death.

Thirty years later Mina will finally discover that Sita is alive and well in Barcelona. However, Sita’s adoptive parents have erased all traces of her past: She’s now called Paula, works as a researcher in biology and has no recollections of her Indian background.

The story is based on same-title 2007 best-selling novel that Soler-Pont co-penned alongside Indian-born, Barcelona-based writer Asha Miro.

After one year playing on the international film festivals circuit, “Traces of Sandalwood” has shown solid results in terms of prizes: Audience awards at both August’s Montreal World Film Festival and March’s Cinequest California, and best Catalan film at Catalonia’s Gaudi Awards and best adapted screenplay at Spain’s Cinema Writers Circle Awards.

Continuing its fest career, on June 19 “Sandalwood” screens as part of Paris’ Different 8! L’Autre Cinema Espagnol, a now firmly-established annual alternative Spanish film festival which screens movies at the Louxor Palais de Cinema. Different 8! runs June 17-23.

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