Cinedigm collars ‘Narco Cultura’

Distrib plans theatrical and awards-qualifying run this year

Cinedigm has scored North American rights to “Narco Cultura,” the Sundance competition docu about the Mexican drug cartels’ influence on life and popular culture on both sides of the border.

With its first Sundance pickup as an all-platforms distributor, Cinedigm plans a theatrical and awards-qualifying run this year. Distrib is already kudo-hunting with “The  Invisible War,” nominated for a best documentary Oscar.

Israeli photographer and filmmaker Shaul Schwarz’s “Narco Cultura” world preemed last week at Sundance in the docu competish section. Pic was produced by Parts & Labor’s Lars Knudsenand Jay Van Hoy and Ocean Size Pictures’ Todd Hagopian; exec producers were Fred Warren and Robin Warren.

“Narco Cultura” will be seen next in Berlin.

“Through its unprecedented access and shocking imagery, “Narco Cultura” reveals the complex interplay between the tyranny wrought by the drug cartels, as well as their prominentrole in defining the culture at large,” said Vincent Scordino, Cinedigm’s acquisitions veep.

Variety’s positive review called “Narco Cultura” “an eye-opening examination of Mexico’s blood-soaked drug war and its unsettling pop-culture side effects … ‘Narco Cultura’ is as overwhelming as it is absorbing.”

It’s the third deal in the last week for Parts & Labor, which went to Sundance this year with three films in competition. Besides “Narco,” they had “Mother of George” (Oscilloscope) and “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” (IFC Films).

Emily Rothschild, director of acquisitions for Cinedigm, negotiated the film deal with CAA, on behalf of the filmmakers.

Cinedigm became the latest midsized, fully digital theatrical distributor to start shopping at Sundance after it acquired New Video in April.