Zeroing in on one of the most anticipated Latin titles this year, in the run-up to the Berlin Film Festival, Spain’s Film Factory Ent. has acquired world sales rights outside Latin America to “The Clan,” an ‘80s-set suspense thriller which marks the next film from Argentina’s Pablo Trapero (“White Elephant,” “Lion’s Den”).
Film Factory will introduce “The Clan” to buyers at Berlin’s European Film Market, showing a first promo reel. “The Clan” teams major forces behind prestige Latin American productions which break through to seven figure box office in territories abroad: Argentina’s K & S Films and Trapero’s Matanza Cine, Pedro and Agustín Almodóvar’s El Deseo, Fox Intl. Productions and Argentine broadcaster Telefe produce. 20th Century Fox will distribute “The Clan” in Latin America.
Producers are K & S’ Hugo Sigman and Matias Mosteirin, Trapero, and Pedro and Agustín Almodóvar and Esther García at El Deseo.
Part of Telefonica Studios drive, powered by Axel Kuschevatzky, into top-notch Argentina titles, Telefe co-produced “Wild Tales,” as well as Juan Jose Campanella’s “Foosball” and “The Secret in Their Eyes.”
Now in post-production, and aiming to be ready for delivery by May 2015, “ the real-event inspired “The Clan” stars Guillermo Francella (“The Secret in Their Eyes,” “Heart of a Lion”), one of Argentina’s biggest marquee draws, as Arquimedes Puccio, the patriarch of Clan Puccio, a well-heeled Buenos Aires family that abducted people from its own neighborhood, benefitting from the facade of respectability enjoyed by their social status and one of their sons playing for the Pumas, Argentina’s national rugby team. Demanding and receiving hefty ransoms, the Puccios then killed their victims. Accomplices in varying degrees in the kidnappings, all the family members benefitted from the ransom payments.
“The Clan’s” action takes in four murders, from 1982 to 1985, during two years of dictatorship and two years of democracy, with the Puccios effectively privatizing the Argentine Junta’s practice of abduction and murder, turning them into a business model.
“This is a behind-the-scenes portrait of the Argentine society of the ‘80s which unfortunately has a lot in common with Argentina’s society of today, its double morality, the hypocrisy of many people,” Trapero said on “The Clan’s” set last month.
He added: “It’s also a vision of politics, not state politics, but intimate politics, how the Puccios moved, their links with power, and a film about suffering and absences, which has a larger resonance than just that of the victims of the Puccios.”
K & S, EL Deseo and Telefonica Studios, via Telefe, teamed to produce Damian Szifron’s “Wild Tales,” which was also sold by Film Factory.
A Cannes Competition player, Sony Pictures Classics U.S. pick-up, and Warner Bros release in Latin America, Spain and France, “Wild Tales” has become the highest-grossing Argentine ever in Argentina. Boosted by its Almodóvar cache, it bowed No. 2 in Paris over Jan. 14-18 for a total France €1.5 million ($1.9 million) cume through Jan.25 . Goosed by word of mouth, it has shown sturdy legs in Spain, where it has cumed €4.5 million ($5.4 million) per Rentrak, and has played for 15 weeks in the top 20 in the Czech Republic, said Film Factory’s Vicente Canales.
“Vicente handled Damian Szifron’s ‘Wild Tales,’ which was the first time we worked with him. We understood one other marvelously well. He kept his nerve in 2013 when buyers expressed a lot of doubts about the film. At screenplay, we could have undersold, gone with the wrong foreign distributors. His advice, to practically not make any sales, was very important,” Agustin Almodóvar told Variety.
“From the moment of its Cannes Competition selection, which revolutionized distributors’ interest, as the expert sales agent he is, Vicente also stood firm, choosing the best distributor for every territory, which was not always the one who made the highest offer.”
For Agustín Almodóvar, Vicente Canales “also coincides with the idea El Deseo –and our Argentine partners – have of cinema, which is somewhat special, non standard-issue, less conventional, cinema which has to be placed in expert hands who know how to handle films with a strong auteurist voice.”
“With Film Factory, we’ve constructed a successful team and are sure that Vicente Canales will achieve the best of results with this powerful new picture,” K & S’s Sigman and Mosteirin added.
“Pablo Trapero is one of the most talented directors working nowadays. He has a unique and universal vision,” Canales himself commented.
“It is a great pleasure for me to keep working with such great producers as K & S and El Deseo. We are still enjoying the incredible experience of ‘Wild Tales.’ I am sure ‘The Clan’ is going to be one of the best of 2015 films.”