Toronto: Latido Rolls Out Sales on Venice Best Actor Winner ‘The Distinguished Citizen’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Italy, France buy movie, among multiple territories, as Oscar Martinez takes Venice’s Volpi Cup for a crowdpleaser plumbing the paradoxes of modern fame

El Ciudadano Ilustre (The Distinguished Citizen)
Courtesy of Venice Film Festival

Licensing Italy in Venice and now France, among a roster of first-phase sales, Latido Films has initiated a rapid sales roll out on Gaston Duprat and Mariano Cohn’s Argentine-Spanish production “The Distinguished Citizen,” which won lead Oscar Martinez a Volpi Cup best actor award at the Venice Film Festival on Saturday.

Latido closed Italy on the Lido with Stefano Jacono’s Movies Inspired; while other territory sales in Venice included Greece (One From the Heart), China (Blueshare Films), Poland (Against Gravity) and Central America (Palmera). Benelux (September Films) closed at Toronto.

On Saturday, Memento, one of France best-regarded indie distributors, closed an all-rights deal for France. Select in its buys, Memento has opened a string of arthouse and crossover movies to significant results, such as Xavier Giannoli’s “Marguerite” (about $7.6 million) and Ashghr Farhardi’s “The Past” (about $6.9 million).

Disney took rights to Latin America on “The Distinguished Citizen” at a financing stage. Barcelona-based A Contracorriente Films, one of the film’s producers, handles distribution in Spain.

At Toronto, Latido is now fielding offers from a slew of territories, including ex-Yugoslavia, Switzerland, Russia and CIS states, the former Czech Republic, and Asia, for a pan-Asian TV deal. An offer from Scandinavia look imminent, reported Latido Films head Antonio Saura.

Paris-based Epicentre has acquired in a pre-sale French rights to Carlos Saura’s “J: Beyond Flamenco,” which Latido has also licensed to E-Log Entertainment for China and Hong Kong and Balkan Vision 21 for Bulgaria. A heartfelt homage, transposed through studio-set performances, to the millennium-old music, and current reinterpretations, of his homeland region of Aragon, the film world premieres in Toronto’s Masters section Sept. 13.

Martinez is increasingly recognised as one of the finest actors of his generation, thanks to his turns as the father in Santiago Mitre’s “Paulina” and “The Promise” segment of Damian Szifron’s “Wild Tales.” In “The Distinguished Citizen,” he plays an Argentine Nobel Prize winning writer who returns to his home town for the first time in 40 years. The citizen’s pride at his fame turns to hostility as they realize that he has built his career on a critique of their small-town, small-mindedness.