Lions Gate to house ‘Casa’

Mandoki will direct Spanish-lingo pic in Mexico

Lions Gate Films Intl. has acquired worldwide distribution rights excluding the Americas to “Casas de Carton,” a drama based on the true story of an 11-year-old boy and his family in a country torn by civil war.

Luis Mandoki will direct Spanish-lingo pic in Mexico and is producing with Lawrence Bender and Altavista Films chief Alejandro Soberon Kuri.

Pic, penned by tyro scribe and actor Oscar Torres, is based on his own experiences as a child living in El Salvador. Pic tells the story of Chava, an 11-year-old boy whose relationship with his mother during the turbulent times in his home country creates a portrait of child soldiers, who with their families are caught in the middle of crossfire in unstable regions of the world.

Pic stars Leonor Varela, Jose Maria Yazpik, Ofelia Medina, Daniel Gimenez Cacho and newcomer Carlos Padilla as Chava. It was exec produced by Federico Gonzalez Compean, Monica Lozano, Miguel Necoechea, Anna Roth and Francisco Gonzalez Compean.

Project reteams Lions Gate with Altavista after their last collaboration on Mexican pic “Amores perros,” which was nominated for a foreign-language Oscar.