Memento Films Intl. and its art film label Artscope have sold Alejandro Fadel’s Cannes Critics’ Week prize-winner “The Wild Ones” to Independencia in France.

A producer-distributor, Independencia will open “Wild Ones” in France at the end of February, and plan a DVD with a booklet and extended interview with Fadel, said Independencia’s Valentina Novati,

The directorial debut of Fadel, a co-scribe on films by Pablo Trapero and Walter Salles, the scrub-mountain-set reformatory escape tale has also sold to HBO Latin America.

Shot in striking widescreen DV by ace lenser Julian Apezteguia, “The Wild Ones” won Critics’ Week ACID/CCAS prize, which is “extremely useful,” said Novati, hiking “Wild Ones” visibility. It also offers Euros8,000 ($10,000) to its distributor and director,

The plaudit will also help increase admission levels outside Paris, said MFI’s Nicholas Kaiser. Produced by Buenos Aires’ La Union de los Rios, “Wild Ones” has also won a distribution support prize at Brussels’ Cinedecouvertes Film Fest this summer.

Deals marks early sales on one of a trio of recent Latin American titles at Artscope, which was set up by Memento when the producer-distributor-sales house moved into larger crossover titles after Laurent Cantet’s MFI-sold “The Class” won Cannes 2008 Palme d’Or.

MFI-Artscope also reps Rodrigo Pla’s “The Delay,” which topped Argentina’s “A” grade Mar del Plata festival last weekend, and “Choco,” from Colombia’s Jhonny Hendrix, which opened February’s Cartagena festival.

Acquiring films at rough-cut from first-time or up-and-coming directors and splitting revenues, Artscope is “a lab,” said MFI’s Kaiser.

“Especially in today’s environment, where so many films, are made, it’s good to have a company with international industry relationships thatcan also oversee festivals runs and non-commercial circuit distribution. Those relationships may even help a director make his second film,” Kaiser added.