Ventana Sur: ‘The Clan’ Sells Out Worldwide (EXCLUSIVE)

Rai’s Cinema’s 01 Distribution, NonStop Ent., Pablo Trapero’s Venice winner punches exceptional sales for Latin American title

The Clan
Courtesy of K & S FILMS

BUENOS AIRES – Adding another achievement to its blockbuster Argentine box office bow, Venice Fest best director win, upbeat critical reception and selection by Argentina as its Oscar entry, Pablo Trapero’s true-life crime thriller “The Clan” has now sold out worldwide.

Doing so in just three months after its Venice international premiere, “The Clan” – a bracing indictment of Argentine state collusion in the Puccio’s family’s true-life abduction and murder of multiple victims under and after Argentina’s military dictatorship – has recorded an exceptional performance for a Latin American – and indeed foreign-language – movie.

Closed by Vicente Canales’ Film Factory, the Barcelona-based sales company that also licensed Damian Szifron’s “Wild Tales,” in unannounced deals, RAI Cinema’s 01 Distribution, the country’s top distribution op, has claimed rights to Italy, NonStop Ent. those for Scandinavia; Filmcoopi bought Switzerland, Broadmedia Studios picked up Japan; Russia has gone to Cinema Prestige, which also bought “Wild Tales.”

Time in Portrait has licensed China, Shoval Israel, Spenzos Greece, Cinemundo Portugal. Further deals: Salim Rania (Middle East), South Korea (Double & Joy), Coral Culture Contents (Thailand), Sinema TV (Turkey), Filmvision (Bulgaria) and Andrews Film (Taiwan).

As already confirmed, 20th Century Fox has rights to North and Latin America. Warner Bros. Pictures España released “El Clan” in Spain on Nov. 13.

The imperial sales rollout adds to powerful pre-sales: To Diaphana Distribution for France, unveiled at Berlin, and Prokino for Germany and Vendetta for Australia, both clinched by Venice.

Distributors include mainstream and crossover distributors such as 01 Distribution and Prokino. In a now highly unusual development, “The Clan” clinched deals off its Sept. 6 world premiere in Venice before it screened in Toronto’s new Platform competition on Sept. 16, with Curzon Film World swooping on U.K. rights, and Cinemien acquiring Benelux.

Inspired by real events in the 1980s,  “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. It made its money abducting people from its own neighborhood, securing boffo ransoms, and then killing them.

“The most emotional thing for audiences may be the father-son relationship and the family, but the film also portrays –  and I think this could have international resonance — how a family kidnaps and murders people with sustained impunity. Arquimedes Puccio was first prosecuted for kidnapping in 1973, but exonerated,” Trapero told Variety at the Venice Festival.

Produced by Argentina’s K & S Films, Pedro and Agustin Almodovar’s El Deseo, and Telefe/Telefonica Studios — which all teamed on Argentine hit “Wild Tales” — as well as Fox Intl. Prods., “The Clan” also reps another step-up in scale for Trapero, who had a bigger budget for a period piece that included bigger action scenes and multiple vfx in post-production.

Latin America’s challenge is now, without abandoning the freewheeling creativity of its low-budget production, to make more films of this scale and caliber: No easy ask.