×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Ruben Blades Is Not My Name’ Unspools Across Latin America

Abner Benaim’s music docu picked up by HBO for the U.S.

As documentaries and true-event based movies deliver many of the highlights and some news at the Santiago Int’l Film Festival (August 19-26), Abner Benaim’s much-lauded music documentary “Ruben Blades is Not My Name” is getting a rare multi-territory release across Latin America.

By the end of August, “Ruben Blades…” will have opened in Panama, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Costa Rica and Guatemala.

Chile, Argentina and the Caribbean are likely to follow. HBO has picked up the docu for the U.S. next year.

A co-production between Benaim’s Apertura Films, Gema Juarez Allen’s Gema Films of Argentina and Ciudad Lunar, Colombia, “Ruben Blades…” has been reaping multiple awards on the festival circuit.

The music docu received its world premiere at SXSW where it proved its commercial appeal by nabbing the 24 Beats Per Second audience prize. It closed Panama’s IFF festival and went on to key fest events across the region, including Guadalajara in Mexico, Argentina’s Bafici, DocsBarcelona, Lima where it opened the fest, and the NY Latino Festival, which it also kicked off proceedings.

The film’s trailer, launched in March, was a viral hit, seen by over two million people on its first week.

Jose Victoria’s ProLatsa releases the film Aug. 30 in Panama, Costa Rica and Guatemala. In Mexico, Everardo Gonzalez’s Artegios releases the doc on 46 screens on Aug. 31.

In Colombia, Ciudad Lunar and Caracol TV are unleashing the doc through Cinecolor on Sept. 12 in around 60 screens. Cinecolor also releases in Peru.

Apertura Films oversees the distribution and marketing in Panama and the simultaneous launch in Latin America, said Benaim.

Abner Benaim, Ruben Blades

Philippa Kowarsky’s Cinephil is handling the rest of the world.

One of Panama’s leading helmers whose credits include 2009 hit comedy “Chance” and 2014 doc “Invasion,” Benaim filmed “Ruben Blades” over the course of three years, trailing Panama’s iconic singer, songwriter, actor and activist in concerts and other events in Panama City, New York, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Colombia.

The docu includes interviews with key figures from the Latin music scene and also musicians and actors, including Junot Diaz, Paul Simon and Sting, among others.

Blades lorded over the salsa revolution of the ‘70s, recording 38 albums and nabbing 17 Grammys along the way. He was once Panama’s Minister of Tourism and ran for president.

More Film

  • Fast and Furious 8

    'Fast and Furious 9' Release Date Pushed Back Six Weeks

    Universal Pictures has shifted “Fast and Furious 9” back six weeks from April 10 to May 22, 2020 — the start of the Memorial Day weekend. It’s the second backwards shift for the title. In 2017, Universal moved the film back a year from April 19, 2019, to April 10, 2020. Both dates fall on [...]

  • Alita Battle Angel

    'Alita' Inching Past 'Lego Movie 2' at Presidents Day Weekend Box Office

    James Cameron’s “Alita: Battle Angel” has a slight edge over “The Lego Movie 2” in a tight race for domestic box office supremacy during Presidents Day weekend. Both are aiming for about $27 million, early estimates showed on Friday. The two titles are the only current bright spots as overall moviegoing for 2019 trails far [...]

  • Ludwig Goransson Black Panther Composer

    Complete Guide to This Year's Oscar-Nominated Scores

    Unlike the song category, it’s impossible to predict the winner from this year’s quintet of original-score nominees. It’s almost anyone’s game. Swedish composer Ludwig Göransson spent a month in Africa recording unusual drums, flutes and vocals, then adding them to a massive London orchestra and choir to create a unique soundscape for the fictional land [...]

  • Oscars Best Song Nominees

    Complete Guide to This Year's Oscar-Nominated Songs

    This year’s crop of Oscar-nominated songs may be the most diverse in years: a ballad and a pop-rap from two of the year’s biggest films, plus a delicate lullaby from a Disney musical, a political themed anthem, and a novelty tune for singing cowboys. “Shallow,” the top-10 hit from “A Star Is Born,” is widely [...]

  • Oscars Oscar Academy Awards Placeholder

    All Oscar Categories to Air Live After Hollywood Protest

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has reversed its controversial decision to hand out four Oscars during the telecast’s commercial breaks. Following a Thursday night meeting with top cinematographers, Academy leadership including president John Bailey and CEO Dawn Hudson have pledged to air every awards category on the live show a week from [...]

  • Academy Awards preparation 2017

    Cinematographers Hopeful That Academy Will Reverse Oscarcast Exclusions

    Cinematographers who are opposing the decision to curtail four Oscar presentations on the telecast have said a “productive” Thursday night meeting with Academy brass may lead to a reversal of the exclusions. American Society of Cinematographers president Kees van Oostrum said in a letter to members Friday that he expects a decision by the end [...]

  • Oscars: Resistance to the Rescue

    Oscars: Resistance to the Rescue

    When “The Dark Knight” failed to secured a best picture Oscar nomination, the snub was said to have prompted the Academy to expand the category from five nominees to as many as 10. A decade later, maybe out of fear that something similar might happen again to the immensely popular “Black Panther,” the Academy announced [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content