Berlin-based Films Boutique has snapped up world sales rights to Everardo Gonzalez’s harrowing documentary about the collateral damage of Mexico’s devastating drug wars, “La Libertad del Diablo” (a working title), which won a distribution deal and P&A guarantee from Mexico’s Cinepolis, and post-production services from Carlos Reygadas’ Splendor Omnia at the Morelia Int’l Film Festival’s work-in-progress program Impulso Morelia.
Shot for over a-year-and-a-half, the documentary is a reflection on the violence in Mexico and its impact on the lives it leaves in its wake. “Everardo has an extraordinary talent to make both victims and perpetrators reveal their deepest fears and emotions,” said Films Boutique’s acquisitions head Gabor Greiner. “The film takes the viewer into unprecedented terrain of human violence where the bad ones are not always the ones you expect.”
This is only the second Mexican pick-up by Films Boutique, which first bought the rights to Diego Quemada-Diez’s “La Jaula de Oro,” according to Greiner whose sales & marketing colleague Louis Balsan is attending Los Cabos Intl. Film Festival, which kicks off on Nov. 9.
But the company has already been repping a wealth of projects from the rest of Latin America, led by Colombia’s “Embrace of the Serpent” by Ciro Guerra, which was shortlisted for best foreign-language Oscar this year, a milestone for the country’s fledgling film industry. Films Boutique is also repping Guerra’s upcoming pic, “Birds of a Passage,” which shoots next year.
“The international market is sometimes challenging for art house films nowadays. However, our experience and successes over the last years show that there is still a place for unique films with a strong artistic vision,” said company CEO Jean-Christophe Simon. “The theatrical success of a film such as ‘Embrace of a Serpent’ is the perfect example of the cinematic experience that the audience is looking for,” he added.
This year’s international lineup includes Brazilian dramedy by Marina Person, which competed in Rotterdam, and Argentina’s Cannes 2016 Un Certain Regard entry “The Long Night of Francisco Sanctis” by Andrea Testa and Francisco Marquez.
In recent years, FB snagged world sales rights to Brazil’s “The Violin Teacher” by Sergio Machado and Daniel Ribeiro’s romcom “The Way He Looks” in 2014, among others.
“We work on around 12-to-13 films a year,” said Grenier, “and we usually buy only one documentary a year,” he added.
Among films from other international territories, Films Boutique handles world sales rights this year to Poland’s entry to the 2017 Oscars race, “Afterimage,” by the late Andrzej Wajda, which chronicles Polish painter Wladislaw Strzeminski’s fight against the tyranny of Stalin in the 1940s; Cannes Camera d’Or winner “Divines” by France’s Houda Benyamina, going live on Netflix by Nov. 18; Locarno best director award-winner “The Ornithologist,” by Portugal’s Joao Pedro Rodrigues; and Venice Golden Lion winner “The Woman Who Left” from the Philippines’ ‘enfant terrible,’ Lav Diaz.