Mundial, the joint sales venture between IM Global and L.A. and Mexico City-based Canana, and “Instructions Not Included” producer Monica Lozano are kicking off their output deal with Mundial introducing a trio of titles from Lozano’s Alebrije Cine y Video at this week’s Toronto Festival.
In a extended career, Lozano’s credits take in Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu’s debut “Amores Perros.” Directed by and starring Eugenio Derbez, “Instructions” ranks as the biggest Spanish-language hit ever in the U.S. punching $44.5 million.
Underscoring Lozano’s versatility, the three Alebrije titles hitting Mundial’s Toronto sales slate range from a “She is Ramona,” a femme-centric urban comedy, to “Jeremy,” another comedy but about a winsome child genius, and “The Obscure Spring,” a tale of amour fou, from Ernesto Contreras (“Blue Eyelids”).
“We’re excited to finally kick off our output deal with the great Monica Lozano,” enthused Cristina Garza, Mundial general manager.
She added: “Monica has contributed to some of Latin America’s most groundbreaking and successful films, creating diverse and magical experiences for audiences, so it’s a real pleasure to bring her new works to the international marketplace.”
Directed by Hugo Rodriguez, who helmed 2003 action-comedy hit “Nicotina” and took a supervising producer credit on “Instructions,” “She is Ramona” stars newcomer Andrea Ortega Lee, recommended to Rodriguez by Derbez, as “a big woman with little luck,” as the log-line has it. Starved for love and suffering an “Amelie”-like sad childhood which spills over into adulthood, and a firm believer in bad luck, Ramona is laid off at work for being overweight, and can’t afford the liposuction she dreams of. One day she stumbles across a collection of magic beetles in a tarot cafe; her luck takes a turn for the better.
Child genius movie “Jeremy,” the first feature from Mexico’s Anwar Safa, turns a precocious eight-year-old whose a pessimistic misfit confronting the ignorance of his family and the most important decision in his life: What he will do when he grows up? “Jeremy” bows in Mexico later this month.
Co-produced by Lozano’s Alebrije, Lady Leonor and Agencia SHA, “The Obscure Spring” marks Contreras’ fiction feature follow-up to his debut, 2006’s Cannes Critics’ Week player “Blue Eyelids.” The torrid love affair tale, in which characters suffer head-on the clashing demands of carnal desire and family responsibilities, toplines Jose Maria Yazpik (“I’m So Excited”), Cecilia Suarez (“Spanglish”) and Irene Azuela (“Miss Bala”).
Alebrije also backed Maya Goded’s Sundance-selected “Plaza de la Soledad,” a documentary feature telling the human stories behind some of the denizens of Mexico City’s historic prostitute quarter. She has in production Spaniard Antonio Chavarrias’ “The Chosen,” a fiction historical thriller inspired by the stranger-than-fiction true story of Trotsky’s assassin.