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FiGa swoops on ‘Sky,’ ‘Viejos’

Garza, Araiza launch Mexico's Kid Sister distrib op

BUENOS AIRES — Figa Films has taken world rights, including to North America, to Brasilia Film Festival hit “The Sky Above,” a cutting-edge title from Brazil’s surging regional cinema.

The acquisition comes as FiGa Films’ Cristina Garza has teamed with Latinofusion’s Estrella Araiza to launch Kid Sister, a Mexico alternative production and indie distribution outfit.

Sergio Borges’ directorial deb, “Sky” world preemed at Brasilia, dominating its Tuesday kudos, taking, in a rare sweep, film, special jury prize, director, screenplay and editing.

“Sky” is produced by Helvecio Marins Jr., a driving force behind Belo Horizonte film collective Teia Filmes, and producer of Sundance 2007 player “Accident,” as well as Marilia Rocha’s “Cattle Callers,” seen at Karlovy Vary, and “Like Water for Stone,” which played April’s Bafici. Borges and Marins are both Teia founders.

Marins is himself making his fiction debut with Teia’s “Swirl,” co-produced by Sao Paulo’s Dezenove and Barcelona’s Eddie Saeta, companies, like FiGa, with a strong eye for new talent.

Written by Borges and Manuela Dias, “Sky” comprises three vignettes of characters experiencing change, such as a transsexual who pays for her master’s degree studies working as a prostitute.

” ‘Sky’ is fresh and smart, and a documentary/fiction hybrid, which is an ongoing trend that gives directors freedom and produces unexpected results,” said Sandro Fiorin, founder of FiGa films, an L.A.-based sales, production and distribution company.

Belo Horizonte, in the Minas Gerais state, is an ‘up-and-coming’ film hub. There are a lot of very exciting filmmakers and producers,” Fiorin said.

Garza, Figa’s sales and distribution manager, and Araiza, Latinofusion’s acquisitions and sales exec, will bow Kid Sister this December, kicking off distribution in Mexico with Ventana Sur 2009 screener “Hiroshima,” from Uruguay’s Pablo Stoll (“Whisky,” “25 Watts”).

Kid Sister’s second release will be another FiGa sales title, Federico Veiroj’s Toronto preeming, “A Useful Life,” one of Latin America’s biggest second half hits on the festival circuit.

Kid Sister plans to release six to eight films per year and produce one to two features, focusing on work from up-and-coming directors.

The “Sky” pick-up underscores one of FiGa’s main areas of interest, burgeoning production hubs outside Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

In another significant acquisition, FiGa has taken world sales on “Los viejos,” from Bolivia’s Martin Boulocq (“The Most Beautiful of My Very Best Years”). The memorable chronicle of old age and rekindling love played Ventana Sur’s Primer Corte last year. “Latin America is the most exciting new cinema. Mexico, Brazil and Argentina are givens. The challenge is the rest of the continent,” Fiorin enthused.

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