The Apostate
Courtesy: FiGa Films

Buy comes as VOD competition heats up in Latin America, spurring new rights buy models

GUADALAJARA – Who said distributors can no longer rely on TV sales? In a deal model which looks set to multiply in the Mexico, as competition in Latin America’s VOD space heats up, Eckehardt Von Damm’s Corazon Films has acquired all rights for Mexico and VOD for the whole of Latin America – both SVOD and TVOD – to Federico Veiroj’s “The Apostate.”

“New VOD platforms in the region allow local distributors to be more aggressive as Latin American films become more palatable,” said Sandro Halphen, Corazon head of development and rights’ manager.

Pick-up by Corazon Films, a production-distribution shingle that releases a mix of U.S. (Scott Hick’s “Fallen,” “American Ultra”) and Mexican movies, ticks off another major territory for “The Apostate,” an irreverent belated coming-of-age comedy from Spanish-Uruguayan director Veiroj which, world premiering at Toronto, won a Fipresci award and Special Jury Prize at San Sebastian.

As art film sales suffer in Europe, Latin America has emerged as a prime market for Spanish-language movies, repping 45% of all Spanish movie theatrical openings in 2014 around the world, for example.

The tale of an eternal university student – given his ingrained opposition to authority – who battles the legacy of a conservative upbringing – hence his obdurate insistence on being struck of the register of Catholic church members – “The Apostate” will open in France May  via Paname Distribution, a new boutique distribution house launched by former MK2 distribution head Laurence Gache.

Figa Films also closed Brazil with Priscila Miranda Tucuman Distribuidora de Filmes, a highly active distributor of European, Brazilian and Latin American art films that also bought FiGa Films-sold “Sand Dollars”; Manuel Garcia’s Tren, a select buyer of U.S indie and European, Latin American and Asian fiction, docu and animation fare, is distributing in Argentina.

“The Apostate” has also closed Central America with Santo Domingo-based Palmera Pictures, one of the leading distribution companies for the region.

A fest favorite, “The Apostate” will play San Francisco, Lima, Transylvania, Lucca in Italy, Austria’s Innsbruck Fest, and Vilnius. After having “The Apostate” screen at this week’s Miami IFF and New Directors in NYC, Veiroj will have a retrospective at Harvard Film Archive in May.

Mexican TV giant Televisa launched Blim, its new SVOD service for Mexico and Latin America on Feb 22; Carlos Slim has launched telco America Movil’s ClaroVideo; HBO GO will launch in Argentina and Brazil later this year, HBO chief Richard Plepler announced last week; OTT incumbent Netflix, which launched in 2011, now has over five million subs in Latin America.

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