Carlos Martinez’s ‘Pajaros Rojos’ Takes Flight

KWA Picks up int’l sales rights

BUENOS AIRES — Kevin Williams of KWA Spain is snagging worldwide sales rights to “Pajaros Rojos” (Red Birds), the upcoming pic by Argentine helmer-scribe Carlos Martinez.

KWA has also been handling sales of Martinez’s 2013 drama “Condenados” (“Sentenced”), which Williams sold to the Sundance Channel Latin America, marking one of the first regional film pickups by the nascent channel. Sales efforts have continued at Ventana Sur, said Williams.

Martinez has drawn on his personal experience as a former guerrilla, and as a 7-year political prisoner during the brutal military regime of Argentina’s General Rafael Videla in the ’70s to inform his body of work. Aside from features, these include docus, shorts and TV series.

While “Condenados” dwells on the time Videla’s regime imprisoned thousands of political opponents –- real and imagined — and executed many without a trial in the infamous 9th Unit jail, “Pajaros Rojos” is a simpler but equally disturbing true story about budding poet Graciela Pernas Martino, who was abducted along with her husband and became the first of thousands who vanished during the dictatorship.

Her mother, Alba Martino, who was among the Madres de Plaza de Mayo who gathered weekly at the Buenos Aires square to clamor for their vanished relatives, found a collection of her daughter’s poems. They were soon published to great acclaim.

Musician-composer Hector “Flecha” Vilche, one of the former prisoners in the 9th unit’s two “Pabellones de la Muerte” (wards of death) described in “Condenados,” put music to her poems. A concert was first held three years ago and a second last Saturday (Nov. 29), according to Martinez. “Shooting began that night, as this concert will figure in the last scene of ‘Pajaros,’” said Martinez who expects to shoot the bulk of principal photography early next year and have the pic ready by mid-2015.

“Pajaros” is Martinez’s third fiction feature, which he has co-penned with Raul Argemi. “I prefer the fiction format because I can’t interview those who died, but I can have them represented by actors,” he said.

“More than 30 years since they killed Graciela, her story and her poetry continue to move and provoke the conscience of many.”

More Film

  • Mother and son bonding in Wayne

    Wayne Wang’s ‘Coming Home Again’ to be Handled by Asian Shadows (EXCLUSIVE)

    Specialty film sales agent Asian Shadows has picked up international rights to “Coming Home Again,” by Wayne Wang, one of Asia’s most celebrated directors. The film, which tackles food, family and mortality, will premiere as a special presentation at the Toronto festival in September. Based on a short story of the same name, published in [...]

  • The Great Hack (2019) - pictured:

    Film Review: 'The Great Hack'

    When I was growing up, we learned that the moral cornerstone of the First Amendment — the very essence of it — is that it’s about protecting the speech you don’t like. If the Nazis aren’t allowed to march in Skokie (a major test case in the 1970s), then a treacherous principle gets laid down: that [...]

  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

    ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Columbia Pictures claims the top spot in spending with “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” Ads placed for the drama had an estimated media value of $5.71 million through Sunday for 997 national ad [...]

  • Circus of Books

    Outfest Film Review: 'Circus of Books'

    Rachel Mason grew up believing that her parents ran a small bookstore in Los Angeles. She wasn’t entirely mistaken, although the naive young woman — then an artsy teen, now a documentary filmmaker — never imagined that, as her mother Karen bluntly tells her on camera, “at one point, we were probably the biggest distributor [...]

  • Themba Ntuli and Ashley Lazarus

    Ashley Lazarus, Director of Apartheid-Era Cult Classic, Returns to Screen

    DURBAN–Director Ashley Lazarus, whose film about the interracial friendship between two young boys during the apartheid era became a South African cult classic in the 1970s, is set to return to the big screen with a film that builds on his life-long passion for early-childhood education. “Teacher Wanted” is the inspirational story of a teacher [...]

  • Channing Tatum

    Channing Tatum's Free Association Partners With Atwater Capital for Film Development Fund

    Free Association, a production company led by Channing Tatum, Peter Kiernan and Reid Carolin, has entered into a film development fund with Atwater Capital. The four-year $2 million revolving fund stipulates that Atwater will finance a minimum of five films with Free Association. Michael Parets, VP of production, will oversee the deal. Free Association will [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content