Paris-based Sophie Dulac Distribution has taken all French rights to Cannes’ Un Certain Regard-player “Alias Maria,” the sophomore feature by Colombian director Jose Luis Rugeles (“Garcia”).
A vision of Colombia’s inhuman armed conflict with potential crossover appeal, “Alias Maria” is set up at Bogota’s Rhayuela Cine, in co-production with Argentina’s Sudestada Cine and France’s Axxon Films.
New York-and Paris-based UDI is selling the film at Cannes.
Fox TV has acquired Pan Latin American pay TV window, while the U.S. and Canada are being discussed separately with firm offers, according to Eric Schnedecker at UDI.
Further deals on “Alias Maria” include Central America (Palmera Intl.) and Benelux (Contact Film).
Axxon Films’ Gilles Duffaut, the French co-producer, negotiated the deal with Sophie Dulac just before Cannes. Sophie Dulac aims to release the film in French theaters early 2016.
The Cannes Festival hosts “Alias Maria’s” international and European premiere, after it world preemed as the opening film in March at Colombia’s 55th Cartagena International Film Festival.
Penned by Diego Vivanco, “Alias Maria” portrays the tragic effects of the Colombian civil war, seen through the eyes of Maria, a pregnant 13-year-old guerrilla soldier that watches a birth in the jungle and then has to decide whether to terminate her own pregnancy.
Pic boasts doses of potential crossover, combining a showing a social context with a strong human focus and situations which encourage large empathy with the lead character.
“The most important thing is that we are creating a concern about violence in Colombia and how the war degenerated. I wanted to portray individuals, not guerrilleros. I think the audiences have come to a perfect empathy with film’s characters. That was our premise and I think it works,” director Rugeles said at Cannes.
Rhayuela Cine, whose production credits include Wild Bunch-sold “El Paramo,” designed “Alias Maria” as a transmedia production that also includes a web series, feature-length docu “Alias: Ginette” and workshops with children, said Rhayuela producer Federico Duran
Winner of the first edition of December’s Interactuar award at Ventana Sur’s New Latin Transmedia Platforms sidebar, “Alias Maria” earned free-of-charge post-production services from Latin American film lab Cinecolor.
John Hopewell contributed to this article.