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San Sebastian: Wide Takes ‘Pretenders,’ Sells ‘Glory’ and ‘Alone,’ Ups Latin America Titles (EXCLUSIVE)

‘Fragments,’ 'The Writer's Burrow,' ‘Fostering’ also close deals as Paris sales company drives into Latin American cinema

Wide Takes ‘Pretenders,’ Sells ‘Glory,’ Ups
Courtesy of San Sebastian Film Festival

SAN SEBASTIAN — Loic Magneron’s Paris-based Wide Management has acquired world sales rights to “Pretenders,” which world premiered at San Sebastian, as Wide cuts more sales on Locarno hit “Glory” and Berlin Teddy winner “Alone” and drives ever more into movies from Spain and Latin America.

“A cool, cutting debut” from Estonia’s Vallo Toomla, the “nervy” home-invasion thriller – as Variety described “Pretenders” – the San Sebastian New Directors entry turns on an on-the-rocks couple who are offered the summer home of rich friends, then take in a poorer couple who are camping nearby which allows the wife to pretend to be the home’s owner.

Screening in New Directors, “Pretenders” marks Wide’s latest pick-up from Eastern Europe, a region which has given the sales company some of its greatest hits.

“The Lesson,” from Bulgaria’s Kristina Grozeva and Peter Valchanov, a 2014 New Directors entry, sold to 50-plus countries, said company sources. The same directorial duo’s follow-up, “Glory,” which world premiered at August’s Locarno to an upbeat reaction, has now closed Spain with La Aventura Audiovisual, one of Spain’s new generation of boutique distributors whose recent acquisitions include “Into the Forest” and “The Kindergarten Teacher.” Launched in 2013 by Fernando Herranz, Aventura also bought “The Lesson.”

Turning on a railway worker who hands to the authorities some money he finds, but in not compensated as he thinks fit, “Glory” has already sold to I Wonder (Italy), Filmarti (Turkey) and Arti Film (Benelux); Bounty Films acquired Australia/New Zealand and JSC Europos Kinas (Lithuania).

Wide’s broad Latin American line-up is led in terms of recent sales by Alex Anwandter’s “You’ll Never Be Alone,” an LGBT title which was selected for Berlin’s 2016 Panorama, winning a Special Jury Prize Teddy for the 5AM Producciones-Araucaria Cine production.

The first feature of Chilean composer-turned-director  Anwandter, “Alone” centers on a gay teen who is viciously attacked by homophobic youths, and the subsequent attempts of his straight-laced father to repair their estranged relationship. A vision of tolerance in a conservative country, “Alone” has been sold to Mexico (Cine Tonala), Australia (SBS), Taiwan (Portico), Francia (Epicentre), Benelux (Arti Film), Italy (The Open Reel), Australia/U.K. (Bounty), Poland (Tongariro) and Serbia-Macedonia (Cutaway). 

Exploring most often first features from Latin American directors attempting a more mainstream niche cinema, Wide’s Latino sales slate ranges from another LGBT title, “Tamara,”about Venezuela’s first transexual congressman, to Colombian erotic thriller “Fragments of Love,” two genre movies – Peru’s “The Light on the Hill” and Brazil’s “The Fostering” – and social-issue feature “El Pastor.”

Backed by Puerto Rico One Film Corporation and Caracol Cine, and produced by Diego Ramirez’s 64A Films, one of Colombia’s top production houses, “Fragments of Love” has closed Australia (Palace Films), South Korea (Sidus) and Japan (The Klockworx Co.).

Narrating how a woman’s tales of past sexual adventures drives her boyfriend to near-paranoid jealousy, Fernando Vallejo’s “Fragments of Love” won in early September the Glauber Rocha Award for best Latin American film at the recent Montreal Festival.

A Lima Festival world premiere in August, “The Light on the Hill” is a Peruvian procedural set in a godforsaken high Andes village still awash with superstition and centuries-old rites. Ricardo Velarde directs his first feature which screens next month at Spain’s Sitges Fantastic Film Festival, one of the world’s biggest genre events. Seen last year at Sitges, fantasy horror feature “The Fostering,” from Brazil’s Dante Vescio and Rodrigo Gasparini, has sold to Matchbox for the U.K. and Ireland.

Spaniard Kurro Gonzalez’s huis clos thriller “The Writer’s Burrow,” about a crime novelist who abducts a young woman sent by his publisher to help him get over writer’s block, has been licensed by Wide to Australia (SBS), Japan (New Select) and Turkey (Associated Entertainment). Syldavia Cinema will shortly release it in Spanish cinemas, said Wide’s Isabel Ivars.