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Berlin-based international sales company M-Appeal has picked up global sales rights to Colombian filmmaker-scribe Natalia Santa’s directorial debut “The Dragon Defense” (“La Defensa del Dragon”), which plays at Cannes’ Directors Fortnight in May.

“Natalia’s vision is right in line with ours, and her delicate portrayal of three men in the later stage of life is beautifully expressed through striking visuals and clever dialogue,” said M-Appeal CEO Maren Kroymann, adding that the company had been in talks with “Dragon” producer Ivette Liang of Galaxia 311 since its project development stage. “Dragon” has participated in Ibermedia’s 2014 Projects Lab, the 2015 Cartagena Encounter, EAVE – Puentes 2015, the Tribeca Workshop 2015 and BAM 2015.

“It’s important for me to work with a sales agent who is able to explore all possibilities, thanks to a limited catalogue, and with whom we have a relationship of trust,” said Liang.

“Dragon” pivots on three old friends in the Colombian capital of Bogota, who either meet over a game of chess, at a casino or a coffee shop. A series of events forces them to each make decisions that could disrupt the status quo. Leading distributor-exhibitor CineColombia will release the drama in Colombia.

“Dragon” dovetails with M-Appeal’s mandate to nurture new talent and advance established artists. Founded by Kroymann in 2008, the femme-dominated company selects an average of 10 films a year, with a focus on Latin American films. They have represented pics by Venezuela’s Marcel Rasquin, Mexican-Guatemalan Julio Hernandez Cordon, Chile’s Jose Luis Torres Leiva and Cuba’s Carlos Machado Quintela, among others.

M-Appeal kicked off 2017 with six films at the Berlinale, among them Travis Mathews’ dark thriller “Discreet;” Turkish psychological thriller “Inflame,” femme director Ceylan Ozgun Ozcelik’s directorial debut that took home the Luna Gamechanger Award at SXSW 2017; and “Butterfly Kisses” by Rafael Kapelinsky, a Crystal Bear winner at Berlinale’s Generation 14plus sidebar.

Galaxia 311 was launched in 2010 at the Int’l School of Film and Television in San Antonio de los Banos, Cuba, which two years later expanded to Colombia as a liaison between both countries. Its other pics include various films by Kiki Alvarez, including “Sharing Stella,” a Cuban-Colombian co-production that bowed at the 2016 Havana Film Fest, and documentary “Sady Gonzalez: Una Luz en la Memoria” by Margarita Carrillo and Guillermo Gonzalez.