Winner of best actress (Ana Brun) and Alfred Bauer Silver Bears at this year’s Berlinale competition, Paraguayan Marcelo Martinessi’s “Las Herederas” (The Heiresses”) has been sold by Luxbox to major distributors across the globe.
The female-centric drama revolves around a middle-aged, once cosseted Paraguayan woman, Chela (Brun), who is forced to live on her own and falls on financial hard times after her longtime partner, Chiquita (Margarita Irun), gets convicted on fraud charges. “The Heiresses” received glowing reviews at the Berlinale, where it also won the Fipresci award for a film in competition.
Martinessi’s feature debut, “The Heiresses” was described by Variety’s Jay Weissberg as a “character study with shrewd commentary on class, desire, and the lingering privileges of Paraguay’s elite.”
The film was acquired in Italy (Lucky Red), France (Rouge International), the U.K. (Thunderbird Releasing), Benelux (Contact) and Scandinavia/Baltics (Edge).
In previously announced deals, Luxbox sold “The Heiresses” to Spain (Bteam), Greece (Weird Wave) , Switzerland (Cineworx) and China (Time Vision).
Commenting on the acquisition, Edward Fletcher, the managing director of Thunderbird Releasing, praised Luxbox for consistently “finding beautiful and original films of which ‘The Heiresses’ is an exceptional example.” Thunderbird Releasing plans on distributing the film in the U.K. later this year.
Rouge International is the Paris-based company headed by Julie Gayet and Nadia Turincev which recently produced the Oscar-nominated films “The Insult” and “Faces Places.” Emilie Djian, Rouge International’s head of distribution, said the film delivered a “beautiful portrait of women.”
Over at Lucky Red, Andrea Occhipinti commented that “The Heiresses” is “the surprise of the festival; an intense and delicate women-driven film that has captured me. This is a director to follow in the future.”
Luxbox is negotiating further deals which will be announced soon.
The Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize is awarded to a feature film that opens new perspectives. A six-way co-production between Paraguay, Germany, Brazil, Uruguay, Norway and France, “The Heiresses” is produced by A La Babosa Cine, Pandora Filmproduktions, Mutante Cine, Esquina Filmes, Norsk Filmprodukjson, and La Fabrica Nocturna Prods.