Filmax has announced the first key sale for its award-winning Spanish drama “Mediterráneo: The Law of the Sea” to Adler Entertainment in Italy, hot off the heels of an Audience Award at the Rome Film Festival.
News of the deal comes as Filmax presents “Mediterráneo: The Law of the Sea” at this week’s American Film Market.
Marcel Barrena, a filmmaker with a knack for retelling true stories on the big screen in both documentary and biographical films such as “Little World” and “100 Meters,” directed the film that features Eduard Fernández (“Smoke and Mirrors”), Dani Rovira (“100 Meters”), Anna Castillo (“Holy Camp!”), Sergi López (“Rifkin’s Festival”), Àlex Monner (“The Next Skin”) and Melika Foroutan (“Pari”).
Based on true events in the fall of 2015, “Mediterráneo: The Law of the Sea” turns on a pair of Barcelona lifeguards, Oscar and Gerard, who traveled to the Greek island of Lesbos after seeing a gut-wrenching photo of a drowned child who was once part of a group of immigrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean. Upon their arrival, the two realize that the situation is far worse than expected, with thousands of people attempting the crossing daily and no aid in place to help them.
Oscar and Gerard quickly get to work, enlisting a group of volunteers who together launch the soon-to-be globally celebrated NGO Open Arms, an open sea migrant search and rescue mission that has, in the real world, now saved more than 60,000 lives since 2015.
“My intention was to show the birth of the heartbeat which compels people to do something great with their lives. To see the first of the steps,” Barrena explained to Variety in October, after the film was shortlisted for Spain’s submissions to the international feature Oscar race alongside Pedro Almodóvar’s “Parallel Mothers” and the eventual honoree, Fernando León Aranoa’s “The Good Boss.”
“It’s impossible to save 60,000 lives all of a sudden. Everything began with wanting to save one. Then another. Like Oskar Schindler. How can you show you can change the world starting with small things? We can all do something, using our vocation, or our profession,” he added.
Lastor Media, Fasten Films, Arcadia Motion Pictures and Cados Producciones in Spain co-produced the film with Greece’s Heretic, along with participation from Spanish broadcasters RTVE, Movistar Plus and TVC, and financial backing from the Spanish Government’s ICAA film agency, Catalunya’s ICEC, and the support of Creative Europe MEDIA.
“’Mediterraneo’ is a relevant and necessary film, both on a political and social level,” said Filmax international boss Iván Díaz, announcing the sale. “We are delighted to have reached a deal with a client as important as Adler, with whom we’ve worked successfully in the past. We’re sure that in their safe hands, the film will give a lot to talk about in Italy, a country that, similarly to Spain, has experienced this topic first-hand.”