L.A.-based Outsider Pictures, one of the most avid U.S. distributors of Spanish-language movies, has picked up Chile’s Oscar entry “Blanquita.”

“It’s a critical look at a sordid part of Chilean social history, but also a political thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat,” enthuses company’s founder and CEO Paul Hudson, who closed the deal, noting that the decision continues Outsider’s ongoing support of Latin-themed independent cinema.

The film, directed by Fernando Guzzoni, will be released theatrically in New York and Los Angeles on Dec. 9, 2022.

“Blanquita” celebrated its world premiere at Venice Film Festival in the Horizons section, scoring Guzzoni an award for best screenplay. It also won the Golden Colon for best film at Spain’s Huelva Latin America Film Festival. 

Giancarlo Nasi of Quijote Films produced the affecting drama, with Pablo Zimbrón (Varios Lobos), Donato Rotunno (Tarantula), Pascal Guerrin, Yves Darondeau, Emmanuel Priou (Bonne Pioche Cinema) and Beata Rzeźniczek (Madants) also taking producer credits. 

“Our film is about a young girl, excluded by society, who bravely confronts powerful men, corruption, and social injustice, all of them relevant issues worldwide,” said Nasi. 

“We are thrilled to have the chance for the film to be theatrically released in the U.S. and we know that American audiences will value the strength and courage of ‘Blanquita,’ both as a movie and as a reflection of Latin America’s reality.”

Jan Naszewski, CEO of New Europe Film Sales, which is handling the film’s international  sales, added: “I’m very happy that ‘Blanquita’ found a theatrical home with Outsider. I’m sure the movie will play beautifully in cinemas and on VOD platforms afterwards.”

The story sees Laura López making her acting debut as an 18-year-old resident of a foster home who is a key witness in a trial against powerful politicians and businessmen implicated in a child sex scandal. As questions are asked, her role in the scandal becomes unclear. 

Alejandro Goic, known for Pablo Larraín’s “El Club,” also stars, alongside Amparo Noguera, Marcelo Alonso, Daniela Ramírez and Nicolás Durán, the latter already spotted in Guzzoni’s 2016 effort “Jesús.”

“Blanquita” – Guzzoni’s fourth feature – was inspired by the infamous Spiniak case that sent shock waves through the entire country in 2004, with powerful figures accused of taking part in a prostitution and child pornography ring.

“I think there was a structural injustice,” the helmer told Variety back in September.

“The fact that true victims have been left out of the case because they didn’t respond to groups of influence or power speaks of how societies like the Chilean one have built first and second-tier subjects, where only a few can truly access reparative justice, or the rule of law.” 

Guzzoni mentioned an investigation that revealed that thousands of children in juvenile centers dependent on the state died or were abused. However, not a single political leader has been implicated. 

“I believe that in this case, as in many others, structural violence continues to be perpetuated where justice operates with a class or gender bias,” he observed, now also opening up about the titular character, who, albeit strong, “cannot be questioned from a dichotomous perspective.” 

“The interesting thing is that she is a heroine with double standards, so she is fighting against powerful people, searching for justice and dignity in an unorthodox way,” he says. 

“I believe this makes her even more subversive and particular.” 

Blanquita Credit: New Europe Film Sales