BUENOS AIRES – In a high-profile deal announced out of Ventana Sur, Los Angeles’ XYZ Films will represent North American rights to “Scherzo Diabolico,” a kidnapping-centered black comedy with a feminist spin from Adrian Garcia Bogliano, one of the major figures in Latin America’s burgeoning genre movie scene.
“Scherzo Diabolico” is produced by Andrea Quiroz at Salto de Fe Films, the Mexico City-based label she heads up with Garcia Bogliano.
In a sign of ever-strengthening links between the U.S. and Mexican film communities, it is lead-financed by Joshua Sobel’s L.A.-based F company, which has taken an equity investment in the film and arranged further investor backing. Sobel takes an executive producer credit.
The XYZ Films deal announcement has come just before “Scherzo Diabolico” screens Wednesday at Blood Window’s Bloody Work in Progress, part of Buenos Aires’ Ventana Sur.
“Scherzo Diabolico” was sourced by Blood Window from this year’s Austin Festival’s Fantastic Market, where the producers screened 15 minutes. At Ventana Sur, they will present the whole movie in rough-cut. XYZ sales exec Mette-Marie Katz is also on the ground at Ventana Sur, taking meetings.
With the North America deal, XYZ Films has pounced on one of the highest-profile titles at Blood Window, thanks to Garcia Bogliano’s cachet as a director.
Since his feature debut at age 19 with “Rooms for Tourists,” Garcia Bogliano, Spain-born but from an Argentine family, has seemingly worked his way, through many of the multiple permutations and sub-divisions of fantastic cinema.
Also written by Garcia Bogliano, “Scherzo Diabolico” is about a separating and out-of-work accountant’s kidnapping of a teen girl, who proves his worst nightmare.
Spanish-language, “Scherzo” stars Francisco Barreiro (“We Are What We Are”), Daniela Soto Vell and Cuba’s Jorge Molina (“Juan of the Dead”).
“XYZ was very pleased to work with Adrian [Bogliano] previously on ‘Penumbra’ and are convinced he’s one of the brightest genre talents in the world today,” said XYZ’s Todd Brown. “We couldn’t be happier to continue our relationship with him on ‘Scherzo Diabolico’ and can’t wait to see the world’s reaction to this latest dark opus.”
Now in post, “Scherzo Diabolico” is the second fiction feature film from Salto de Fe, after “Here Comes the Devil,” which swept 2012’s Austin Fantastic Festival, winning best picture, director, actor, actress and screenplay.
In a departure, and sign of growth at the young shingle, Salto de Fe has also produced Christian Cueva’s “Jiron,” about the last and lost film, “Shred of Mist,” – which Cuevas’ team rediscovers in the vaults of Mexico’s UNAM – directed by the great Mexican classic horror filmmaker Carlos Enrique Taboada, the subject of three recent remakes, including the Filmadora Nacional-produced 2014 3D movie “Darker than Night,” which grossed $5.2 million in Mexico.
Cueva’s first feature, “Jiron” won the director prize in the Latin American section of Mexico’s Morbido Festival.
Quiroz said at Ventana Sur that Garcia Bogliano was developing multiple projects, some in Spanish and some in English.
Salto de Fe is a leading player in Mexico’s increasingly vibrant genre renaissance. “Filmmakers are refreshing Mexico’s large heritage of horror films, making films that can grab the audience. In Mexico, there will always be an audience for horror films,” Quiroz said.