Deal represents Mundial’s first U.S. partnership, but an ever-more common combination between Hollywood studios and independent companies as majors drive into local production, but pact with specialist distribution platforms to sell rights outside a studio’s core territory and expertise.
Orion will handle U.S. theatrical distribution on the titles. Mundial spearheads other U.S. rights distribution and international sales outside Brazil. MGM takes Latin American rights.
“The SVOD space in the U.S. is growing so quickly and has an appetite for more alternative, foreign-language content,” said Mundial managing director Cristina Garza, who negotiated the deal with Orion.
A sales company on individual titles and, increasingly, more volume-driven library deals in the U.S., Mundial has inked with Kino Lorber to exploit a catalogue of Latin American films on Kino Lorber’s Spanish-language label Sol y Sombre. Mundial also deals with HBO and Somos TV in the U.S.
In “A Movie Life,” Brazilian director-actor Selton Mello (“The Clown”) directs Cassel in a family drama set in the mountains of Rio Grande do Sul. Pic is produced by Vania Catania’s Bananeira Filmes. It is based on“A Distant Father” by novelist Antonio Skarmeta whose “Ardiente Paciencia” inspired Michael Radford’s Academy Award-winning “The Postman.”
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“A Movie Life” is “a love story to cinema, made with a French New Wave touch by one of Brazil’s most talented director-actors,” said Garza.
Wowing Sundance with his performance in Heitor Dhalia’s “Drained,” Mello also stars in “Soundtrack,” directed by 300ml’s Manitou Felipe and Bernardo Dutra, an eco-themed Arctic research station-set drama. Brazilian musician-actor Seu Jorge (“The Life Aquatic”), Ralph Ineson (“The Witch”) and Thomas Channing (“Marco Polo”) co-star.
Driving into Brazil’s burgeoning genre scene, Mundial has also acquired from Orion Joao Caetano’s “The Trace,” a Brazilian hospital-set chiller starring Leandra Leal (“A Wolf at the Door”) and produced by Manu Miranda, an AD/action co-ordinator on Jose Padilha’s “Elite Squad”; and “The Caretaker,” from Julio Santi (“The Night Circus”), a paranormal thriller.
“It is strategically important for Mundial to forge relationships with studios and exciting to explore this relationship with Orion and to sell Brazilian titles,” said Garza, adding that all the films have festival potential.
The Orion alliance adds to Mundial’s output deals with Canana, headed by Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna and Pablo Cruz; Alex Garcia’s AG Studios; and Monica Lozano’s Alebrije Cine y TV, producer of Mexican hit “Instructions Not Included.”