MORELIA, Mexico — Paris-based Luxbox has picked up international sales rights to Guadalajara native Lorena Padilla’s debut feature “Martinez,” toplining Francisco Reyes who starred opposite Daniela Vega in Chile’s Oscar-winning “A Fantastic Woman.”
“We have totally embraced the singularity of this project which brings to our eyes the potential of a film that can entertain and move the audience,” said Luxbox CEO, Fiorella Moretti. “The film is a mix of different preoccupations of our contemporaries: Time passing, loneliness, isolation and the eternal quest for love, all depicted through a subtle and entertaining angle,” she noted, concluding: “The process of an audience-driven film.”
Reyes plays the titular of Martinez, an embittered Chilean in his sixties who has lived in Mexico for the past 40 years and is being forced to retire from his job. As he struggles with life changes, a neighbor suddenly dies and, as he sifts through her diary and her things, he begins to live vicariously through her and find new meaning in life. Humberto Busto (“El Chapo,” “Oso Polar”) plays the young man who replaces Martinez at his desk job.
“Martinez” has gone through various script labs, including the Script Station at the Berlinale Talent Campus, the TorinoFilmLab and the CineQuaNon development program and has received grants from the Mexican Film Institute (IMCINE).
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No stranger to Latin American films, Luxbox’s international sales catalog includes acclaimed titles such as Alejandra Marquez Abello’s “The Good Girls” and Benjamin Naishtat’s “Rojo,” starring Alfredo Castro and Dario Grandinetti.
“Lorena and I would add that we are honored that Luxbox is boarding “Martinez” and we’re excited to collaborate with them on this journey,” said producer Georgina Gonzalez of Off-Hollywood Films, who added that Padilla was now completing her participation in the Austin Film Society Artist Intensive Program. Padilla, who also penned the drama, is a Tisch School of the Arts/NYU alum.
Principal photography is slated for May 2020 in Guadalajara, per Gonzalez, who is also head of development at the budding production unit of Cinepolis, the main sponsor of the Morelia Int’l Film Festival, which runs Oct.18-27 this year. Off-Hollywood is a co-producer of “Sanctorum,” which competes at the fest.