Toronto: Warner Bros., Memento Board Santiago Mitre’s Ricardo Darin-Starrer ‘The Summit’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Ricardo Darin, La cordillera
Courtesy: K&S Films

WB takes Latin America, Spain, Memento France on Santiago Mitre’s political thriller, which went into production on Monday

Warner Bros. Pictures has acquired distribution rights to Latin America and Spain on Ricardo Darin starrer “La Cordillera” (The Summit), produced by Argentina’s K & S, which also backed “Wild Tales” and Pablo Trapero’s “The Clan.” France’s Memento Films has boarded “The Summit” as its French distributor.

Directed by Cannes’ 2015 Critics’ Week winner Santiago Mitre (“Paulina”), “The Summit” —  which its sales agent Film Factory Entertainment will talk up to distributors at Toronto — now boasts one of the strongest backing of any Latin American movie going into production this year.

Described as a political thriller about a man confronting his inner demons, “The Summit” stars Darin as the president of Argentina. At a three-day summit, his darkest past threatens to catch up with him, forcing him to choose between his career and family.

Returning to Mitre’s central theme — the personal price of political commitment — but a step-up in scale in budget, locations and cast, Mitre calls it “an enormous project” – “The Summit” also stars Dolores Fonzi (“Truman”), Erica Rivas (the bride of “Wild Tales”) and Elena Anaya (“The Skin I Live In”). Key cast takes in, moreover, Argentina’s Gerardo Romano (“La fuga”), Chile’s Berlin best actress winner Paulina Garcia (“Gloria”) and frequent Pablo Larrain male lead Alfredo Castro, and Daniel Gimenez Cacho, a five-time Mexican Academy Ariel Award winner. Three-times Oscar-nominated Alberto Iglesias is composing the score.

Joining K & S on “The Summit” production is La Union de los Rios, the lead-producer on “Paulina” and Mitre’s debut “The Student,” Spain’s MOD Producciones, producer of Alejandro Amenabar’s movies and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s “Biutiful,” and France’s Maneki Films (“White Elephant,” “Paulina”) whose head, Didar Domehri, the main French producer, negotiated the deal with Memento.

In further big player involvement, Telefonica’s Movistar Plus and Telefe, Argentina’s biggest TV network, co-produce with Memento.

“The Summit” is written by Mitre and fellow film-maker Mariano Llinas (“Extraordinary Stories”), a large inspiration on many just slightly younger Latin American filmmakers.

“We are delighted to be teaming up again with K&S Films and also MOD Producciones on ‘The Summit,’” said Monique Esclavissat, EVP, international productions/acquisitions & Latin American distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures Intl.

She added: “It’s great to be on board so early in the journey and, with such talented cast and crew coming together, we have very high hopes for this ambitious and exciting project.”

Acquired for Latin America, Spain and France by Warner Bros., “Wild Tales” punched stand-out results for the studio, earning $26.6 million in Latin America and selling 525,853 tickets in France – an about $3.7 million box office gross. MOD Producciones producers Fernando Bovaira and Simon de Santiago have a relationship with Warner Bros. which stretches back to its distribution of “The Others” and Academy Award winning “The Sea Inside.

Memento “will give ‘The Summit’ the greatest exposure on France,” said Domehri.

A highly-regarded select distribute in France, Memento has nursed titles to sometimes outstanding results, earning about $7.6 million on Xavier Giannoli’s “Marguerite.”

“Right from script-stage we, at Memento, felt in sync with Santiago’s project,” said Memento head Alexandre Mallet-Guy.” He added: “It is a smart, original and very ambitious film, a great political thriller, helmed by a director who has already proved he can artfully weave together the intimate and the collective: here, the intimacy of a statesman faced with high political stakes on a subcontinent scale.”

Initiating principal photography Sept. 5, “The Summit” lensed its first scenes in La Casa Rosada, Argentina’s equivalent of the White House. It will shoot in Buenos Aires, Patagonia’s Bariloche, Santiago de Chile and the Andes.

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