One of Mexico’s most notable 2015 titles, Gabriel Ripstein’s Tim Roth starrer “600 Miles,” a Berlin Best First Feature winner and the country’s foreign-language Oscar submission, has begun to roll out sales in key territories around the world.
“600 Miles” is from Mexico City’s Lucia Films, run by Ripstein and Michel Franco, which in 2015 produced Franco’s “Chronic,” a Cannes’ best screenplay winner, and co-produced Lorenzo Vigas’ “From Afar,” which took Venice’s top 2015 Golden Lion – a remarkable single year major plaudit trawl.
In the latest deals, at September’s San Sebastian Festival, Paris-based NDM, its sales agent, closed Spain with Splendor, a Barcelona-based distributor of dramas/thrillers, as well as selling Turkey (Kumarca).
Of major deals, “600 Miles” has closed Germany, Switzerland and Austria with Berlin-based Falcom, which buys often U.S. movies with genre elements. Madman has bought Australia.
In a lynchpin deal for its domestic distribution, Televisa theatrical distribution arm Videocine, the company that released five of the six highest-grossing Mexican movies in Mexico last year (“Get Married If You Can,” “Cantinflas,” “La leyenda de las momias de Guanajuato,” “Darker Than Night,” “Que dijiste a Dios?”) will open “600 Miles” in Mexico.
On Paris-based NDM’s sales slate at the Rome Fest’s MIA market, having won Best Mexican Feature at Guadalajara, “600 Miles” will screen at the Morelia Festival with Morelia Guest of Honor Roth in attendance, also there for the Mexican premiere of “Chronic.”
Other buyers include: Rio-based Tucuman Filmes for Brazil; MCF, former-Yugoslavia’s top indie distributor; Palmera, a force in Central America, a burgeoning market; vet Paulo Branco’s Lisbon-based Leopardo Filmes for Portugal; Dutch shingle Amstelfilm; and Thailand’s Coral Culture.
Written by Ripstein and Issa Lopez, scribe of Mexican box office hit “Ladies Night” is a drama-thriller-come-road movie and also relationship drama.
Roth plays ATF agent Hank Harris, who is following Arnulfo Rubio, a gun trafficker between the U.S. and Mexico. After a risky mistake by Harris, Rubio makes a desperate decision: He smuggles the agent into Mexico. The only way they will survive this decision will be to trust each other.
“I didn’t want to tell a story about drugs, but guns, and the perverse relationship between Mexico and the U.S. We need each other and hate each other: Drugs flow North, money flows South, then guns flow South again,” Rispstein told Variety before Berlin.
It is shot by d.p. Alain Marcoen, Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne’s cinematographer in long takes and what Ripstein calls a “realistic, quasi-documentary approach.”
Further sales and theatrical box office will tell whether Ripstein has hit the sweet spot in his crossover intentions.