Luxbox Acquires International Sales Rights to Vinko Tomičić Salinas’ Debut Feature “The Dog Thief”

Vinko Tomičić Salinas’ latest project may be going global…

Paris-based sales outfit Luxbox has acquired the international sales rights to The Dog Thief, the debut solo feature effort from the Chilean screenwriter, director and producer.

Vinko Tomičić Salinas' The Dog ThiefThe film will bow in the international narrative competition at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, running June 5-16.

The film follows an adolescent shoe shining orphan, Martín (Franklin Aro Huasco), in his quest to get closer to Mr. Novoa, a lonely tailor in town whom he believes is his father.

After a twisted ruse is hatched to excuse his further prying, the teen winds up against a wall in a situation that could cause him to lose the nascent, yet budding, relationship.

Novoa, played by Pablo Larraín regular Alfredo Castro, last seen in El Conde, reluctantly opens-up to the youngster and the two form an undeniable bond in this drama that takes quotidian life to new heights by infusing it with boundless sentiment and the ubiquitous yearning for belonging and community that can lead to desperate and self-defeating ends.

“We’re extremely happy to join the journey of The Dog Thief, a film that discusses fatherhood and love and universal subjects through a local and intriguing story that happens in La Paz, Bolivia,” Luxbox CEO Fiorella Moretti told Variety.

The project is produced by Salinas’ Chile-based Calamar Cine alongside Matias de Bourguignon, Alvaro Manzano Zambrana at Bolivia’s Color Monster, Gabriela Maire and Edher Campos at Mexico’s Zafiro Cinema, co-produced by Nadia Turincev and Omar El Kadi at France’s Easy Riders, Pavel Quevedo at Ecuador’s Aguacero Cine and Francesca van der Staay with Mario Mazzarotto at Italy’s Movimento Film.

The cast is rounded out by Teresa Ruiz, María Luque, Julio César Altamirano and Ninón Dávalos.

“We’re thrilled to be represented by Luxbox, a company we’ve always wanted to collaborate with. We were familiar with their dedication to the titles they handle, and we have always aspired to work with someone who would treat our project with the same care, attention, and affection that we poured into it,” Manzano, managing partner and director at Color Monster, relayed.

“With Fiorella and her team, we share a vision of what this film can bring and the significance of ensuring that Bolivian and Latin American cinema is distributed and seen in more places,” he added.

The film participated in Guadalajara’s Co-production Meeting and was selected at Venice Biennale College Cinema and EAVE Puentes, the Europe-Latin America film development workshop backed by the E.U. Media Program.

Roadside Attractions Acquires U.S. Rights to Diego Calva’s New Thriller “Dreamer”

Diego Calva’s dream(er) project will be hitting U.S. theaters…

Roadside Attractions has acquired the U.S. rights to Dreamer, a thriller starring the 31-year-old Mexican Golden Globe-nominated actor.

Diego CalvaExecutive-produced by Oscar nominee Yalitza Aparicio, the film examines enslaved child labor in the U.S.

Inspired by a landmark sweatshop case in El Monte, CA, the film marks the feature directorial debut of veteran producer Mohit Ramchandani.

It will bow exclusively in theaters nationwide on April 5, 2024.

Newcomer Ari Lopez leads an ensemble that also includes Alfredo Castro, Paulina Gaitan, Calva and Renata Vaca.

The story follows Jesús (Lopez), a young farmer in rural Mexico who dreams of playing for Club Puebla, his local soccer team. With the promise of training at a soccer camp in Los Angeles, Jesús is convinced by his father to leave home, but he soon discovers that he’s been sold to a sweatshop run out of a decrepit mansion in downtown Los Angeles. Jesús is then subjected to the grueling 18-hour work schedule dictated by El Jefe (Castro), a boss who promises freedom for those who complete their quotas, and whose brutality is motivated by his own desperation to provide for his family back in Mexico. Despite all, Jesús finds solace in Elena (Vaca), a girl who was similarly betrayed and sent to America under the guise of attending a fashion school. When Elena goes missing and another co-worker, Carlitos (Calva), is severely beaten for confronting El Jefe, Jesús realizes his only way out is a daring escape.

Ramchandani directed from his own script, with the film being produced and financed by Rufus Parker of P2 Films, Jon Graham and Matt Diezel. Ramchandani also served as producer. In addition to Aparicio, EPs included Luis Mandoki and Daljit DJ Parmar of Original Entertainment.

Dreamer has garnered praise from L.A. Mayor Karen Bass’ Office, the Los Angeles Civil Rights Department, and former Department of State Chief of Staff Mark J Biedlingmaier, who stated: “It is one of the most emotionally engaging films I have ever seen. I’m excited to share this film with my colleagues in Washington, given this topic touches every single American today.”

Ramchandani underscored that “Dreamer has no political bias or agenda. It merely shows you, from the point of view of a young boy, what it would be like to have your dreams stolen and replaced with the hellish nightmare of slavery. His story is only one of over 2.8 million undocumented migrants that crossed the border in 2023 and whose forced labor is an unforgiveable stain on countless corporate products.”

Added Roadside Attractions Co-Presidents Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff, “Directorial debuts don’t get any more exciting than this. Mo takes us into a world that we can barely imagine, yet he convinces us it exists right under our noses. The visceral energy of Jesús’ journey is something filmgoers will not soon forget.”

Freestyle Digital Media Acquires Global VOD Rights to Alfredo Castro’s “My Tender Matador”

Alfredo Castro’s latest project is going global…

Freestyle Digital Media has acquired international VOD rights to My Tender Matador, starring the 65-year-old Chilean actor.

my tender matador

The Spanish, LGBTQ-influenced romantic drama had its world premiere at Venice Days in 2020.

It’s directed by Rodrigo Sepúlveda and co-written by Sepúlveda and Juan Elias Tovar, based on the novel by Pedro Lemebel and will hit digital outlets on June 4.

Set amid the turmoil of 1980s Chile, a passionate relationship flourishes between a lonely transvestite and a young guerrilla during the Pinochet dictatorship.

In addition Castro, the film also stars Leonardo Ortizgris and Julieta Zylberberg.

Guerra’s “Embrace of the Serpent” Wins Best Film at Mar del Plata Film Fest

Ciro Guerra continues his winning ways…

The 34-year-old Colombian film director and screenwriter ‘s latest film Embrace of the Serpent took the Astor award for best film at the 30th edition of the Festival Internacional de Cine de Mar del Plata, which officially closed on Saturday night.

Ciro Guerra's Embrace of the Serpent

Earlier this year, the Colombian-Venezuelan-Argentine co-production topped the Director’s Fortnight at the last edition of the Cannes Film Festival, and was selected by the Colombian Film Academy as the country’s submission for the Oscars in the best foreign-language film category.

The best actor award was delivered to the entire male cast of Pablo Larrain‘s The Club: Alfredo Castro, Roberto Farias, Jaime Vadell and Alejandro Goic.

The film, Chile’s Oscar candidate, also grabbed best screenplay for writers Guillermo Calderon, Daniel Villalobos and Pablo Larrain.

The best actress award went to Erica Rivas (Wild Tales), for Ariel Rotter‘s Incident Light.

In the Latin American competition, the jury formed by Valdivia film fest director Raul Camargo Borquez, Jang Byungwon, and Andrea Picard selected Nelson Carlo de los Santos AriasSanta Teresa & Other Stories as best film, and Natural Arpajou‘s Princesas for best short.

Benjamin Naishtat‘s Locarno entry El movimiento won best film in the local competition.

The best director award went to Fernando Salem for How Most Things Work.

The only A class festival in Latin America, Mar del Plata runs October 30 to Novenber 7.

Here’s a look at the main awards:

International Competition
Best Film: Embrace of the Serpent (Ciro Guerra)
Best Director: Ivan Ostrochovsky, for Koza.
Best Actor: the male cast of The Club – Alfredo Castro, Roberto Farías, Jaime Vadell and Alejandro Goic.
Best Actress: Erica Rivas (Incident Light)
Best Screenplay: The Club – Guillermo Calderon, Daniel Villalobos and Pablo Larrain.

Latin American Competition
Best Film: Santa Teresa & Other Stories (Nelson Carlo de los Santos Arias)
Best Short Film: Princesas (Natural Arpajou)

Argentine Competition
Best Film: El movimiento (Benjamin Naishtat)
Special Mention: Docile Bodies (Matias Scarvaci and Diego Gachassin)
Best Director: Fernando Salem, for How Most Things Work.
Best Short Film: Fantastico (Matias Sposato)
Best Short Film Director: Pablo Camaiti, for Gomorra.
DAC Award for Best Argentine Film in All Competitions: Docile Bodies

Other Awards
FIPRESCI Award: Incident Light (Ariel Rotter)
Best Work in Progress: The Corroborators (Luis Bernardez)
Jury Prize Work in Progress: La helada negra (Maximiliano Schonfeld)
Alfredo Alcon Award: Guillermo Francella