SAN SEBASTIAN – In one of the highest-profile deals to go down at this year’s San Sebastian Festival, Madrid-based Latido Films has acquired world sales rights on Chilean drama “Rara,” Pepa San Martin’s Films in Progress entry.
Negotiated at San Sebastian between “Rara” producer Macarena Lopez at Santiago-based Manufactura de Peliculas and Latido’s Antonio Saura and Oscar Alonso in the face of other offers, a situation that had developed by Friday into a mini-bidding war, deal is a triumph for Lopez and first-time director San Martin. “Rara” came to San Sebastian with good-word-of-mouth but far less profile than other Films in Progress titles.
Directed by San Martin, whose “La Ducha” won a 2011 Berlin Festival DAAD Short Film Prize and Best Short Film at the New York. Intl. Latino Film Fest, “Rara” is written by Pepa San Martin and Alicia Scherson, one of Chile and Latin America’s – most distinguished distaff directors (“The Future”), who also penned “La Ducha.” San Martin and Lopez both worked on Scherson’s debut “Play,” with Lopez going on to take a exec producer credit on “Play” and “Tourists.”
Seen from the POV of her eldest daughter, “Rara” narrates the true-life case of a Chilean judge who lost custody of her children because of being a lesbian.
“The screenplay is based on true events that could be related as a tale of lawyers and courthouses, lawsuits, claimants, defenders and victims, but instead, it will be the story of a family,” San Martin wrote in a presentation of “Rara.”
“This is a beautiful movie, from a very talented director which touches a very important subject,” said Saura.
Deal also marks Latido’s renewed contact with Chilean cinema, one of the most exciting young national industries in Latin America.
“Some years ago, Latido had a very happy experience in the past with Chilean movies, handling Andres Wood’s [Sundance World Cinema Jury Prize Winner] “Violeta Went to Heaven,” and it’s a great time to be back with Chilean cinema showing such creativity.”
“Latido has the capacity to create long-term relationships with directors, such as Andres Wood, and they’ve understood the film’s large potential,” said Lopez.
“Rara” is Manufacturas’ first feature. With the Latido deal, all three Chilean movies in Films in Progress look set to score snag sales agents deals. Film Factory acquired world sales on Alejandro Fernandez Alemendras’ “Much Ado About Nothing” earlier this year in a two picture deal with Jirafa Films. Fabula is studying “multiple offers” on Marialy Rivas’ “Princess,” another standout at Films in Progress.
“The fact that a first feature has been a market hit serves proof that Chilean cinema is not only successful at festivals and with critics but also in commercial terms,” said Constanza Arena, exec director at promotion org CinemaChile.