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Brazil’s Tucuman Bows Latin American Pic Distributor in France

‘Sand Dollars,’ ‘Rio 2096,’ ‘Sunday Ball’ gain French distribution

Brazilian indie distributor Tucuman Films is setting up a Paris-based French distribution operation of the same name to distribute films from Brazil and other Latin American countries in France, the world’s biggest art film market.

Bowing its distribution operations in September with “Chronicle of the End of the World,” an intimate father-son drama from first-time Colombian director Mauricio Cuervo, Tucuman Films will also release Geraldine Chaplin starrer “Sand Dollars” and Brazilian Eryk Rocha’s “Sunday Ball.”

Both screening at Toulouse CineLatino Festival, which kicked off Thursday, the FiGa Films-sold fourth feature from Dominican Republic-based scribe-helmer tandem Israel Cardenas and Laura Amelia Guzman has twinned large critical acclaim and sales.

Tucuman’s first distribution slate includes Brazilian screenwriter Luiz Bolognesi directorial debut “Rio 2096, A Story of Love and Fury,” which straddles four periods in Brazilian history and won the top Crystal Award at France’s 2013 Annecy Animation Festival. Tucuman will release it in November in France, said Priscilla Miranda, who runs Tucaman.

With Brazilian animation working better theatrically in France than Brazil, where Hollywood juggernauts dominate, “Rio 2096” can do well in France, Miranda said.

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“France is very open to Latin American films,” she said. “They can sell three times as many tickets in France than Brazil, and that even applies to Brazilian releases.”

Rather like a U.S. release for a mainstream movie, a French bow can also create marketing effect for a film. “New directors need to have their films released somewhere where they can gain visibility,” Miranda said.

Tucuman Films picked up “Sand Dollars” for Brazil in a deal announced by Variety at the Rio Festival. Miranda said she intended to buy titles for both France and Brazil. She aimed to release around six films a year.

Further titles on Tucuman’s first French slate take in “The Other Side of Paradise,” from Brazil’s Andre Ristrum (“My Country”), a 1960-set drama, seen from a 12-year-old boy’s point-of-view of his father’s embroilment in trade union militancy as Brazil heads toward military dictatorship, and another Brazilian title, Alceu Valença’s “The Telescope of Time,” a musical drama encompassing popular Brazilian myth.

Launched in 2010 in Brazil and handling European and Latin American titles, Tucuman Films distributes fest hits and what it describes as “true treasures,” including Philippe Garrel’s “Jealousy”; “La Ritournelle” with Isabelle Huppert; “Mr. Morgan’s Last Love,” starring Michael Caine and Clemence Poesy; and Paraguayan thriller “7 Boxes,” a fest fave and bestselling title for U.S. sales company Shoreline. Also on its slate: Benjamin Nashtat’s 2014 Berlin competition player “History of Fear,” currently playing theaters.

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