Alberto Rodriguez’s latest film, one of Spain’s most recent blockbusters, is ready to conquer North America.
Todo Cine Latino, the specialty label of Paul Hudson’s Outsider Pictures, has teamed with Canada’s AZ Films to acquire the North America rights to La Isla Minima.
The 44-year-old Spanish filmmaker’s fifth feature, titled Marshland in English is described as a noirish period cop thriller.
The film won 10 Spanish Film Academy Goya Awards, among them best picture, director and actor (for star Javier Gutierrez).
Produced by Atresmedia Cine, Sacromonte Films and Atipica Films, and a competition frontrunner at San Sebastian International Film Festival, where it world premiered on September 20, winning the jury prize and best actor (Gutierrez), Marshland went on to gross $8.4 million in Spain, a standout achievement for its distributor, Warner Bros. Entertainment España.
Marshland now figures with nine category recognitions as the leading contender for 2015’s Platino Awards, taking in movies from Spain, Latin America and Portugal, which takes place July 18 in Marbella.
Written by Rodriguez and his near-career-long co-scribe Rafael Cobos, and set in Spain’s deep South in 1980, Marshland begins in classic crime thriller style with two homicide detectives, one a Francoist hardliner, the other younger and more pliable with a bright future ahead of him in Madrid, being called in to investigate the disappearance of two teen girls on Seville’s flatlands, a sprawling marsh expanse of stunning natural beauty and base poverty ruled by a few families certainly not willing to give up their centuries-old power and privileges – economic, social or of droit du seigneur.
Marshland impressed for its stunning, often kinetic, and varied cinematography: It’s made up of some 170 sequences, some multi-shot, some not. It also won critical plaudits for the interplay between the two cops who realize that they must put aside their personal differences if they’re to stop a serial killer, and the shaded balance of its portrait of one, played by Gutierrez. Capable of absolute heroism, he also tortured suspects under Franco and will never be hauled up in court for that.
“Marshland has been compared to everything from the first season of True Detective to Seven, and is a first class thriller, and the Goya Awards are a testament to the quality of the filmmaking,” said Hudson.
Todo Cine Latino will look to build word-of-mouth via festivals; AZ Films will release the film in Canada on August 14, while Outsider will release in the U.S. on August 21 in Miami, where “Marshland” had its U.S. premiere in March at the Miami Film Festival.
Marshland will then be released on digital streaming site Todocinelatino.com, which is dedicated to the release of the best in Latin Cinema in North America.