San Sebastián: Wide Racks Up Sales on Constantin Popescu’s ‘Pororoca’

Movie emerges as a San Sebastián competition frontrunner according to Spanish critics' poll

SAN SEBASTIAN —  Loic Magneron’s Paris-based Wide Management has closed a flurry of deals, including rights in China and Spain, on Constantin Popescu’s drama “Pororoca,” a title which is shaping up as a competition front-runner at this week’s San Sebastián Film Festival.

With the event, the highest-profile festival in the Spanish-speaking world, now entering its second half, Popescu’s portrait of a family tragedy has scored the highest mark to date on a Spanish critics’ poll compiled by Basque newspaper El Diario Vasco. The 65th edition of the San Sebastián Festival wraps Saturday, Sept. 30, with prizes announced at its closing gala ceremony.

The third feature by Popescu, a figure in the so-called New Romanian Cinema, “Pororoca” deepens into a subject willing in contemporary international films: the impact on core social units, here the family, of a sudden and overwhelming event beyond the characters’ comprehension and control.

Film details how a young Romanian couple’s happy family life is swept away – hence the title – by the disappearance of their young daughter and how they attempt to battle the irrational event and its emotional consequences.

A France-Romania co-production, “Pororoca” teams Liviu Marghidan’s Scharf Advertising in Bucarest with Lissandra Haulica’s Paris-based Irreverence Films.

Wide Management has sold the film to Hualu in China, Barton Films in Spain, Discovery Film (Former Yugoslavia territories) and Mirada Distribución (Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Paraguay). Rights for Latin America and four more European territories are under negotiations, Wide president Magneron said at San Sebastián.

In an early deal struck by Wide, which was reported at Cannes, Paris distributor New Story pre-bought French rights.

“Pororoca” is “problematic for the distributor to send to exhibitors because is long [152 minutes], which means there are less screenings, so what is amazing with the film is that we succeeded to make sales which has to be put down to the film’s very high quality,” Magneron said.

“As the film is so good and it has something special, even if the market is difficult, distributors are taking the risk,” he added.

More Film

  • Azania Muendane

    Locations Africa Expo Sends Message in Durban: ‘Africa is Ready’

    DURBAN–The first edition of the Locations Africa Expo and Conference was held this week during the Durban FilmMart, with an eye toward identifying and growing the opportunities to lure incoming productions to the continent. “Locations Africa is trying to service a need on the continent to discuss the physical production…on the ground, highlighting film commissions, [...]

  • The Lion King

    China Box Office: 'Looking Up' is Surprise Weekend Winner Ahead of 'Lion King'

    Actor and comedian Deng Chao underlined his enduring popularity with mainstream Chinese audiences, delivering a surprise number one hit in “Looking Up.” It scored $38.6 million in its opening weekend, according to data from consultancy Artisan Gateway, and displaced “The Lion King” from its previous perch. “Looking Up” is a family comedy about a father’s [...]

  • Unathi Malonga

    Report Urges South African Media to ‘Step Up’ Against Gender Violence

    DURBAN–In a country with some of the highest rates of sexual and gender-based violence in the world, South African media must step up and play a greater role in the fight against gender inequality and gender-based violence. That was the conclusion of a report, “Gender, Diversity and Gender-based Violence in South African TV,” that was [...]


    SAG-AFTRA Leaders Approve Proposal for New Film-TV Contract

    The SAG-AFTRA national board has approved proposals for a successor deal to its master contract covering feature film and primetime television — a key step in the upcoming negotiations cycle with companies. The board approved the package Saturday with the performers union declining to reveal any specifics — its usual policy. The board established the wages [...]

  • Cameron Crowe, David Crosby, A.J. Eaton.

    Cameron Crowe on Why He Loved Leaving David Crosby Doc on a CSNY Question Mark

    David Crosby may or may not have stuck a joint in Cameron Crowe’s mouth the first time he ever met the future filmmaker, when Crosby was peaking with Crosby Stills Nash & Young and his interviewer was a precocious 15-year-old Rolling Stone correspondent. As Crowe said to Jimmy Kimmel the other night, “I remember it [...]

  • Mokalik

    Nigeria’s Kunle Afolayan: African Audiences Shouldn’t Be ‘Second-Class’

    DURBAN–A young boy from a middle-class home gets an unconventional schooling in the ways of the world when he’s forced to apprentice at a mechanic’s workshop in a rough-and-tumble section of Lagos. “Mokalik” is the latest feature from Kunle Afolayan, a leading figure in the wave of filmmakers revitalizing the Nigerian film industry. The film [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content