×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Luxbox Acquires San Sebastian Competition Contender ‘Rojo’ (EXCLUSIVE)

The 1975-set noirish retro drama-thriller captures guilt and violence in the build up to Argentina’s Dirty War

MADRID —  Swooping in on a just-announced San Sebastian main competition title, Paris-based Luxbox has picked up world sales rights to the noirish retro drama-thriller “Rojo,” from Benjamin Naishtat, one of Argentina’s most highly-rated on-the-rise auteurs.

Also one of the biggest titles now coming out of Argentina and a Naishtat passion project developed over years, “Rojo” is set in an Argentine province in 1975 against a expanding wave of political violence, often perpetrated by illegal police squads.

Its prologue kicks off with Dr. Claudio Mora, an upstanding lawyer being attacked outside a restaurant by a stranger who pulls a gun, shoots himself but doesn’t die. In a fateful decision, Mora abandons the still-living stranger in the nearby desert. Consumed by guilt, he begins to discover a whole world of subterfuge, corruption and violence beneath the placid surface of provincial Argentina….

Naishtat’s follow-up to his debut, “History of Fear,” which world premiered in 2014 Berlinale main competition, and then the more experimental, b/w “The Movement,”“Rojo” weighs into San Sebastian with a Latin American dream cast – Argentina’s Dario Grandinetti – star of Pedro Almodóvar’s “Talk to Her,” co-star of “Julieta” – as Mora; and Chile’s Alfredo Castro, star of many Pablo Larrain movies, and recently seen in “Los Perros.”

Written by Naishtat, “Rojo” also packs an impressive cadre of pedigree producers in the kind of multilateral Latin American-European co-production which is often these days marks out a  movie with overseas theatrical distribution ambitions.

Barbara Sarasola-Day and Federico Eubuszyc lead-produce for Argentina’s Pucará Cine. Co-producers are Rachel Ellis at Brazil’s Desvía, Emmanuel Chaumet’s Paris-based Ecce Films, Marleen Slot at Amsterdam’s Viking Film, and Ingmar Trost’s Sutor Kolonko in Germany. “Rojo” is also co-produced by Geneva’s Bord Cadre Films and Jamal Veinal Zade.

“We are extremely proud to handle the worldwide sales of the new film of the Argentinian director Benjamin Naishtat, a real projection of a vision of cinema,” said Fiorella Moretti and Hédi Zardi, calling “Rojo” “Naishtat’s most ambitious project, a remarkable elegance of gesture.”

They went on: “His score boldly juggles with his story’s different layers: the story of a country on the eve of a dictatorship; the cracked façade of established families of power; and the guilt that consumes baseness of human nature, playing, with a certain humor, with the ardent expectation of his audience, until the incandescent red light of a burning eclipse … a red moon.”

After having directed ‘History of Fear,’ Naishtat is continuing to portray man’s fate with perhaps this time, a history of guilt,” they concluded.

Eibuszyc and Sarasola-Day described San Sebastian competition as “undoubtedly a magnificent framework for a film like this” and “Rojo” as a “huge and unforgettable adventure.”

 

More Film

  • 'Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo' Review: Abdellatif

    Cannes Film Review: 'Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo'

    A simple but somehow atypical shot opens Abdellatif Kechiche’s new film: a serene closeup of a young woman’s face, as seen through the camera lens of Amir, a budding photographer still finding his perspective. Her expression is ambiguously tranquil, her long hair lightly rustled by a humid breeze, all softly lit by a sinking afternoon [...]

  • Crown Vic

    Thomas Jane's Police Thriller 'Crown Vic' Sells to Screen Media (EXCLUSIVE)

    Screen Media has bought North American rights to writer-director Joel Souza’s police crime-thriller “Crown Vic,” starring Thomas Jane and Luke Kleintank. The distributor closed terms during the Cannes Film Festival amid a competitive bidding situation between seven other suitors. Screen Media plans to release the pic this fall. “Crown Vic” premiered in April at the [...]

  • Colleen Bell

    Colleen Bell Replaces Amy Lemisch as California Film Commission Director

    Veteran entertainment executive and ambassador Colleen Bell will replace Amy Lemisch as director of the California Film Commission. Bell, who was appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday, has worked as a consultant since 2017. She was the U.S. ambassador to Hungary from 2014 to 2017. She held several positions at Bell-Phillip Television Productions, including [...]

  • Jon Feltheimer

    Lionsgate Posts Loss, Underperforms Wall Street Expectations

    Lionsgate has posted a quarterly loss and its revenues and operating income have come in under Wall Street projections, despite growth from its premium cable channel, Starz. The studio reported a net loss of $24 million, or 11 cents a share, with adjusted operating income of $103 million for its fourth fiscal quarter ended March [...]

  • Cannes: China's 'Summer of Changsha' Debuts

    Cannes: China's 'Summer of Changsha' Debuts Without Censorship Approval

    Chinese crime drama “Summer of Changsha” screened at the Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard section despite lacking the necessary approvals from China’s censors. It premiered without its director or creative team in attendance, who blamed “technical reasons” for their absence — marking the third time that Chinese censorship appears to have caused [...]

  • Jane Austin SAG AFTRA

    SAG-AFTRA Secretary-Treasurer Jane Austin Running for President

    Jane Austin, the National Secretary-Treasurer of SAG-AFTRA, has become the third candidate for the presidency of the performers union, joining incumbent Gabrielle Carteris and Matthew Modine. Austin is running as an independent for the top post at SAG-AFTRA, which has 160,000 members. Carteris will seek re-election as the head of the ticket for the Unite [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content