×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Mexico’s Cinepolis Launching New Arthouse Distributor with ‘Parasite’ (EXCLUSIVE)

MORELIA, Mexico – There’s a new arthouse player in town. Cinepolis, one of the top exhibitors in the world, is launching a new arthouse film distribution unit in Mexico called Sala de Arte Distribucion.

Focusing on auteur films that have premiered at leading film festivals worldwide, Sala de Arte launches in December with “Parasite,” Bong Joon Ho’s Palme d’Or-winning dark comedy. South Korea’s submission to the Academy Awards in the Best International Feature category, “Parasite” has crushed specialty box office records and received glowing reviews in the U.S. since its October release by Neon, while also selling nearly 1.7 million tickets in France via The Jokers.

The launch of Sala de Arte comes five years after the exhibitor launched Cinepolis Distribución, the company’s main distribution division, which has released more than 75 titles. Leo Cordero, who runs Cinepolis Distribucion, will also oversee the arthouse division.

“Just like we did with Cinépolis Distribución whose mission is to promote and represent Mexican films that have the potential to connect with audiences, with Sala de Arte Distribución we want to contribute to the formation of audiences and the promotion of culture by distributing some of the films that are recognized in festivals around the world, and that have the potential to reach a wider audience” said Miguel Rivera, Cinépolis global VP of programming and content.

Popular on Variety

With the objective of releasing an average of 8 to 10 films a year, the rest of Sala de Arte Distribucion’s slate includes such festival favorites as Cannes’ best screenplay winner “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” by Céline Sciamma, “Dogman” by Matteo Garrone, “Little Joe” by Jessica Hausner and Pablo Larrain’s “Ema.”

Sala de Arte is up against a handful of art house distributors in Mexico that includes Nueva Era, which has been releasing mainly French films for more than three decades, and is handling the Mexican release of the Dardenne’ brothers “Young Ahmed,” which opened the 17th Morelia Int’l Film Festival (FICM) on Friday, Oct. 18.

Other players include Piano, Corazon Films and Cine Canibal but there have been some casualties along the way. Carlos Reygadas’ Mantarraya Prods. closed down its distribution operations about 18 months ago although it might reopen eventually, said co-founder Jaime Romandia.

Cinépolis Distribución will continue its operations, focusing mainly on Mexican films as well as mainstream international features. Its next release is “Perdida,” a Mexican-Colombian coproduction from Dynamo, marking its debut at this year’s FICM.

Cinépolis is no stranger to distributing festival favorites. In the last five years, it has released titles like “Neruda” by Pablo Larrain, Asghar Farhadi,’s “Everybody Knows,” “Lady Macbeth” from William Oldroyd and, from Mexican auteurs, Amat Escalante’s “The Unatmed” and Julio Hernández Cordon’s “Comprame un Revolver.”

Founded in 1971, the family-owned Cinepolis is the second largest exhibition company in the world in terms of admissions and, as of September 2019, runs 6,451 screens worldwide, including in Latin America, the U.S. India, Spain, Indonesia and the Middle East. The company has also ventured into production, making Manolo Caro’s “Perfectos Desconocidos” last year, and is likely to ramp up production by 2020.

More Film

  • Downton Abbey star Joanne Froggatt in

    Joanne Froggatt Treads Singapore Red Carpet, Revisits ‘Downton Abbey’ Memories

    “Downton Abbey,” the feature adaptation of the hit British television series of the same name, had its local premiere at the 30th Singapore International Film Festival on Friday night. Representing the film on the red carpet was Golden Globe best supporting actress-prizewinner Joanne Froggatt, who played lady’s maid Anna Bates in all six seasons of [...]

  • THE IRISHMAN (2019)Ray Ramano (Bill Bufalino

    Despite Controversy, 'The Irishman' Is Netflix's Biggest Theatrical Release at Home and Abroad

    Despite friction in the U.S. over its release in select cinemas, Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” is enjoying the biggest theatrical rollout of any Netflix film to date, with key international markets screening the movie and bolstering its profile as awards season gets underway. The nearly three-and-a-half-hour mob epic has secured relatively large releases in major [...]

  • Stone, guitarist for Taiwanese pop band

    Mayday Guitarist, Stone Rallies Fans at Singapore Film Festival

    Stone, the Taiwanese performer who has gone from being the guitarist in Mayday to a promising acting career, drew crowds on Friday, the first full day of the Singapore International Film Festival. Speaking at Projector, the indie theater inside the historical Golden Mile building, some two hundred fans gathered to hear the artist share career [...]

  • The Tempest (concept art)

    Film Bazaar: Rinkel Film Boards Tamil Western ‘The Tempest’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netherlands production outfit Rinkel Film (“Rafiki”) has reteamed with India’s Stray Factory (“Nirvana Inn”) for Tamil language Western “The Tempest” (aka “Aasaimugam”). It is to be directed by emerging Indian filmmaker Arun Karthick. The two companies previously co-produced Karthick’s communal bigotry tale, “Nasir,” which benefited from a grant of €50,000 ($55,350) under the Netherlands Film [...]

  • ‘Wallace and Gromit’ Studio Aardman to

    ‘Wallace and Gromit’ Studio Aardman to Make Short Film ‘Robin Robin’ for Netflix

    “Shaun the Sheep” and “Wallace and Gromit” producer Aardman is making “Robin Robin,” a short film, for Netflix. The project marks a move away for Aardman from working with the BBC, which has broadcast the Oscar-winning stop-motion specialist’s hit projects over the years. “Robin Robin,” which will bow around Christmas 2020, is about a bird [...]

  • Graham Norton to Host 2020 BAFTA

    Graham Norton to Host 2020 BAFTA Film Awards Ceremony 

    Popular British talk show host Graham Norton has been tapped to host the 2020 BAFTA Film Awards ceremony. Norton currently fronts the ratings-winning “The Graham Norton Show“ for the BBC. In assuming hosting duties for the upcoming BAFTA ceremony on Feb. 2, he will be taking over from “Absolutely Fabulous“ star Joanna Lumley, who hosted [...]

  • “Facing It,” an eight-minute 30 second

    U.K. Short 'Facing It' Takes Top Prize at 2019 VIEW Awards

    “Facing It,” a claymation/live-action film about how relationships mold people, has won the 2019 VIEW Conference Award for best short film. The film was written and directed by Sam Gainsborough and co-written by Louisa Wood and produced at the National Film and Television School’s Beaconsfield Studio in Beaconsfield, U.K. The VIEW Awards are an offshoot [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content