Paris-based Luxbox has scored the worldwide sales rights to Swedish-Costa Rican debut feature “Clara Sola” by Nathalie Álvarez Mesén.

The magical realist tale set in a remote Costa Rican village follows a woman, known for her healing powers, who seeks to break away from the stifling social and religious conventions of her community.

“Clara Sola” has nearly completed its post and will be primed for key festivals. The titular role of Clara is played by award-winning Costa Rican dancer Wendy Chinchilla who makes her film debut.

“Álvarez Mesén’s debut offers an ambitious role to an exceptional actress. Despite her differences, Clara imposes the will of a strong character, in opposition with the conventions and the expectations of her family. These chopped gestures and her impulse turn into a ballet, celebrating a true driving force of life,” said Luxbox co-CEOs Fiorella Moretti and Hédi Zardi.

“It is a privilege to accompany such a lyrical and poetic film,” they added.

“Women passing on the tradition of a patriarchal society to the coming generations is something that I grew up with – coming from a big family of mainly women. This phenomenon has been a big question for me and its exploration is one of the reasons that Clara came to be: a character who discovers and unleashes her immense inner power, not falling victim to her circumstances,” explained Alvarez in her statement.

“We hope to welcome the audience into a visceral world – a window to a place where a subtle magic is inherent to nature if you know where to look,” she added.

Sweden’s Hobab leads the production with co-producers Pacifica Grey, Need Prods, Laïdak Films and Resolve Media.

A Costa Rican-Swedish screenwriter-director with an M.F.A. from Columbia University, Alvarez Mesen is an alumna of the Berlinale Talents, TIFF Filmmaker Lab and NYFF Artist Academy.

“Clara Sola” won the CTT and El Taller awards at the 14th Guadalajara Co-production Meeting in 2018.

Her short, “Filip,” won Best Film Under 15 Minutes at the 2016 Palm Springs Shortfest, and her other short, “Asunder,” screened at the 2016 Telluride Film Festival. She also co-wrote “Entre Tú y Milagros,” winner of the Horizons Award for Best Short in the 2020 Venice Film Festival. Alvarez is developing her second feature, “The Wolf Will Tear Your Immaculate Hands.”

“Clara Sola” is one of several female-directed Latino films that Luxbox handles as the region continues to yield a growing number of strong female voices. Its sales slate includes Sundance hit “The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be Quiet” by Argentina’s Ana Katz; Peru’s submission to the International Feature Oscar category, “Cancion Sin Nombre” by Melina Leon, and multi-awarded “Las Niñas Bien” by Mexico’s Alejandra Marquez.