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.

Pablo Larraín & His Brother’s Fabula Productions Renews First-Look Partnership with Freemantle

Pablo Larraín and his brother are extending their Freemantle deal…

The 47-year-old Chilean filmmaker and Juan de Dios Larraín’s Fabula Productions has renewed its their first-look partnership with Freemantle.

Pablo & Juan de Dios LarraínThe agreement will reportedly result in the Larrain brothers working even more closely to develop a fresh slate of original dramas and films.

Under the accord, Fremantle’s international sales wing, FMI, will distribute the drama projects worldwide.

Global production and distribution company Fremantle and the Larraín’s Santiago, Chile-based banner Fabula struck their original first-look deal in 2019.

Under the accord, Fabula has produced prize-winning series La Jauría and Señorita 89 as well as the upcoming Midnight Family for Apple TV+, a 10-episode medical drama inspired by the award-winning documentary of the same name.

On the feature film front, Fabula and Fremantle have just wrapped production on Sebastián Lelio’s film musical The Wave, in partnership with Participant Media.

The drama tells the story of the mass university rallies that took place during Chile’s so-called “Feminist May” in 2018.

Further upcoming feature collaborations include Pablo Larraín’s upcoming bio-film Maria starring Angelina Jolie as Maria Callas, produced alongside Komplizen Film.

The partners said in a statement that the Fabula team would continue to work closely with Fremantle’s CEO, Global Drama, Christian Vesper and Seb Shorr, COO, Global Drama.

“Pablo and Juan encapsulate the bold and inventive filmmaking we proudly support at Fremantle and I am delighted that that our renewed deal means working even closer with them. Fabula is such an exciting company creating original, passionate film and drama titles, and we are thrilled to have them as our valued partners,” said Vesper.

Pablo and Juan de Dios Larraín, CCO and CEO of Fabula respectively said the past five years had been a period of “great collaboration” and “mutual growth on many levels.”

“Fremantle has given us many tools to understand the industry and how to move forward. They have been wonderful travel companions with fantastic taste. We are more than happy to go deeper into our partnership with them in the upcoming years.”

Camila Sodi Signs with AFA Prime Talent Media

Camila Sodi has new representation…

The 37-year-old Mexican singer, actress, producer and model has signed with AFA Prime Talent Media, a division of Kenan Thompson’s Artists for Artists company, in all areas.

Camila Sodi Sodi is currently shooting the series El Dentista alongside Demián Bichir for ViX and Movistar Plus +. She plays Sofia Roth, a brilliant chemist who aids Bichir’s character, Nolasco Black, in solving a case involving the infamous Jack The Ripper. The series is produced by Oscar-winning brothers Pablo and Juan de Dios Larraín.

Also, earlier this year, Sodi created and executive produced the series Cualquier Parecido for Viacom CBS and ViX. The series, also starring the actress, is based loosely on her own romantic experiences and explores stories of love and heartbreak, friendship, family and sex, as well as the process of rediscovering oneself and becoming empowered. The show tells the tale of Carlota, who, after separating from the person she thought was the love of her life, discovers that the saying “happily ever after” is not always true, but that doesn’t mean she can’t be happy.

The signing heralds a reunion for Sodi and Cuban Talent Manager Eliseo Ruiz; they worked together in the past when Ruiz was an up-and-coming talent agent in Mexico City.

“I am honored to join forces with Eliseo and AFA Prime Talent, said Sodi in an exclusive statement to Deadline. “Their commitment to nurturing talent and strategic vision aligns perfectly with my goals. I look forward to this collaboration and the exciting projects that lie ahead. I have no doubts we will create some magic together.”

Pablo Larrain Claims Best Screenplay Award at Venice Film Festival for “El Conde”

Pablo Larrain has the write stuff

The 80th Venice Film Festival has handed out its awards, with the 47-year-old Chilean Oscar-nominated filmmaker claiming a prize alongside co-writer Guillermo Calderón.

Pablo LarraínLarrain was awarded the Best Screenplay prize for co-writing El Conde with Guillermo Calderón.

The Spanish-language film, which Larrain directed, is a historical black comedy that revolves around former Chilean president Augusto Pinochet who is not dead but an aged vampire who, after 250 years in this world, has decided to die once and for all, due to ailments brought about by his dishonor and family conflicts.

In the Horizons category, Margarita Rosa De Francisco took home the Best Actress award for her work in El Paraiso, while Enrico Maria Artale took home the Best Screenplay award for El Paraiso.

Here’s the full list of winners:

VENICE 79
Golden Lion
Poor Things, Yorgos Lanthimos

Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize
Evil Does Not Exist, Ryusuke Hamaguchi

Silver Lion Best Director
Matteo Garrone, Io Capitano

Special Jury Prize
Green Border, Agnieszka Holland

Best Screenplay
Pablo Larrain and Guillermo Calderón, El Conde

Best Actress
Cailee Spaeny, Priscilla

Best Actor
Peter Sarsgaard, Memory

Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best New Young Actor or Actress
Seydou Sarr, Io Capitano

HORIZONS
Best Film
Explanation For Everything, Gábor Reisz

Best Director
Mika Gustafson, Paradise Is Burning

Special Jury Prize
Una Sterminata Domenica, Alain Parroni

Best Actress
Margarita Rosa De Francisco, El Paraiso

Best Actor
Tergel Bold-Erdene, City of Wind

Best Screenplay
El Paraiso, Enrico Maria Artale

Best Short Film
A Short Trip, Erenik Beqiri

Lion of the Future – Luigi De Laurentiis Award for a Debut Film
Love Is A Gun, Lee Hong-Chi

HORIZONS EXTRA
Audience Award
FELICITÀ (HAPPINESS), Micaela Ramazzotti

VENICE CLASSICS

Best Documentary
Thank You Very Much, Alex Braverman

Best Restored Film
OHIKKOSHI (MOVING), Shinji Somai

VENICE IMMERSIVE

Grand Jury Prize
Songs For A Passerby, Celine Daemen

Special Jury Prize
Flow, Adriaan Lokman

Immersive Achievement Prize
Emperor, Marion Burger, Ilan Cohen

MTV Documentary Films Acquires Worldwide Rights to Maite Alberdi’s “The Eternal Memory”

Maite Alberdi’s latest project is going global…

MTV Documentary Films has acquired the worldwide rights to the love story The Eternal Memory, the 39-year-old Chilean film producer, director, documentarian, screenwriter and film critic’s follow-up to her Oscar nominated documentary The Mole Agent.

Maite Alberdi,The price is said to be approaching $3 million in a competitive situation with a number of bidders.

The film, which screened in the Sundance Film Festival World Documentary Competition section, will have its international premiere at the Berlinale next month in the Panorama Section and the company is planning a theatrical release and robust awards campaign later this year.

The Eternal Memory was produced by Alberdi, Juan De Dios Larraín, Pablo Larraín and Rocío Jadue.

In the film, Augusto and Paulina have been together and in love for 25 years. Eight years ago, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and his wife has since become his caretaker. As one of Chile’s most prominent cultural commentators and television presenters, Augusto is no stranger to building an archive of memory, having been responsible for that herculean task following the Pinochet dictatorship and its systematic erasure of collective consciousness. Now he turns that work to his own life, trying to hold on to his identity with the help of his beloved wife. Day by day, the couple face this challenge head-on, adapting to the disruptions brought on by the taxing disease while relying on the tender affection and sense of humor shared between them that remains intact.

“I am so happy that The Eternal Memory has found its home at MTV Documentary Films, which in recent years, has believed in the artistic innovation of documentaries and has released documentaries that I greatly admire,” said Alberdi. “Working with Sheila Nevins is an honor, and I admire what she has built in the documentary industry.”

“The gift of love that lasts is revealed in The Eternal Memory. One cannot be cynical in Maite’s verité film – a remarkable achievement that allows us to observe what remains as memory fades. We reconsider the value of a long life lived and consider in our own lives the eternal reach of comfort and caring to an otherwise merciless end,” said Nevins, Executive Producer, MTV Documentary Films.

Nina Diaz and Liza Burnett Fefferman, Co-Head, MTV Documentary Films, called the doc “an extraordinary and sublime love story, we simply couldn’t take our eyes off the screen. The Eternal Memory left us so deeply moved and devoted to Augusto and Pauli – we can’t stop thinking, talking and marveling about the beautiful work Maite has done and how elated we are to bring this film out into the world.”

The film is a Micromundo and Fabula production. Submarine and United Talent Agency Independent Film Group brokered the deal with MTV Documentary Films on behalf of the filmmakers.

UTA also represents Alberdi, the first Chilean woman to be nominated at the Academy Awards, and an important voice in Latin American documentary. She premiered her last film The Mole Agent at Sundance in 2020. It was the first Chilean documentary to be nominated for an Oscar.

In 2011, Alberdi released her first feature film, The Lifeguard. Through Micromundo, her production company, she directed her second film Tea Time, which won more than 12 international awards, and was nominated for the 2016 Goya Award for Best Ibero-American Film. In 2016, she released the short film I am not from here nominated for the European Films Award and also premiered her third feature The Grown-Ups that got 10 international awards.

Pablo Larraín to Direct Angelina Jolie in Biopic About Opera Legend Maria Callas

Pablo Larraín has lined up his next biopic…

The 46-year-old Chilean filmmaker will direct Maria, a biopic about the life of American-born Greek soprano Maria Callas as his next feature, and he’s locked in Academy Award-winner Angelina Jolie in the starring role.

Pablo LarraínBased on true accounts, the film will tell the tumultuous, beautiful and tragic story of the world’s greatest opera singer, relived and reimagined during her final days in 1970s Paris.

The film was written by Oscar-nominee Steven Knight, who wrote Larraín’s Princess Diana biopic Spencer. The filmmaker’s brother and creative partner Juan de Dios Larraín will produce for Fabula Pictures, alongside Lorenzo Mieli for The Apartment Pictures, a Fremantle Company, and Jonas Dornbach for Komlizen Film.

“Having the chance to combine my two most deep and personal passions, cinema and opera, has been a long-awaited dream,” said Larraín. “To do this with Angelina, a supremely brave and curious artist, is a fascinating opportunity. A true gift.”

“I take very seriously the responsibility to Maria’s life and legacy. I will give all I can to meet the challenge,” added Jolie. “Pablo Larraín is a director I have long admired. To be allowed the chance to tell more of Maria’s story with him, and with a script by Steven Knight, is a dream.”

Larraín is best known for features including Spencer, starring Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana, and Jackie, which had Natalie Portman portraying Jackie Kennedy.

He also directed and executive produced the Apple series Liseys’ Story, based on the Stephen King novel. Other notable directorial credits include Ema, Neruda, The Club and No.

Prime Video to Premiere Armando Bo’s FIFA Gate-Themed Docuseries “El Presidente: The Corruption Game” in November

Armando Bo’s look into how a Brazilian man wrestled control from Europe of the biggest sport on earth is headed to Prime Video.

Amazon will release the 43-year-old Argentine Oscar-winning screenwriter and film director’s Amazon Original El Presidente: The Corruption Game on November 4.

Armando Bo's Amazon Original El Presidente: The Corruption GameBo’s Latin American series focuses on João Havelange.

In a neat historical echo, backed by Bo’s About Entertainment, Narcos producer Gaumont TV, Pablo and Juan de Dios Larraín’s Fabula and Argentine powerhouse Kapow, the second season in the El Presidente series saga of soccer business high jinks and low morals now looks set to become one of the biggest soccer titles released in the countdown to the greatest show on earth, the FIFA World Cup.

Whether FIFA will be entirely comfortable with it is another matter, if a trailer, shared in exclusivity with Variety, is anything to go by.

One of Iberseries’ biggest market premieres, El Presidente: The Corruption Game had its world premiere of its first two episodes on October 14 at this year’s reinvigorated Festival do Rio.

Season 1 turned on the feckless, sly, amoral but simpático Sergio Jadue, a Chilean small town soccer club supremo who’s elected president of Chile’s soccer association. The wrong man in the right place, a fish out of water, he rises in FIFA’s hierarchy, sparking FIFA Gate, a $150 million corruption scandal. Bo tells the story as ironic farce.

Now narrated by Jadue, The President: The Corruption Game teases out the human tragedy in a still arch comedy, which unspools on a far grander scale.

It takes on another extraordinary – but far more towering – figure, Brazil’s Havelange, FIFA president over 1974-98. A hulking giant with dashing blond looks, Havelange dedicated his life to serving Brazil – swimming in the 1936 Berlin Games, working as the vice-president of the Brazilian Sports Confederation from 1958 to 1973, when Brazil won three World Cups – and to serving himself from FIFA’s gravy train.

Glimpsed in the trailer, colorful scenes kick off El Presidente: The Corruption Game with Havelange fuming as Pele is literally kicked out of the first round of England’s 1966 Word Cup, Havelange, the son of a Belgian arms dealer, is outraged by a FIFA meeting where “third world” members are forced to sit in a different room from their European colleagues.

In 1974, as Johan Cruyff forged the modern game on-field, Havelange began to revolutionize its economics and reach – central events in the second season.

Seizing control of FIFA from Sir Stanley Rous, a neo-colonial buffer, over the next 24 years, he created soccer’s modern global business, powered by sponsorship and TV deals, while enlarging the World Cup to 32 teams and introducing a FIFA Women’s World Cup.

But Havelange did so at a tremendous cost, opening FIFA up to multi-million bribery and money laundering and losing his friends, family and honor when he fell into final total disgrace over the 2015-16 FIFA Gate at the age of 98.

El Presidente: The Corruption Game, a mixture of near doc recreation and self-declared fiction, begins with a doddery Havelange, now celebrating his 100th birthday. Only one guest accepts his invitation.

Much of this is caught in the fast-paced, extensive trailer. Havelange used Brazil’s stunning 1970 World Cup triumph to bid to become FIFA president. He is rebuffed by Europe’s still colonial FIFA members. “Even if Brazil wins 100 World Cups, decisions will never be made in the colonies,” FIFA general secretary Helmut Kässer tells him.

Havelange launches an extraordinary play for the votes of poor countries, winning them by his promises, backhanders and a tour of Africa with Pele.

“FIFA is entering the future,” Havelange announces in the trailer. Nobody transformed soccer more off the field more than he did. It wasn’t all for the better.

Dolores Heredia to Star on Season Two of Lionsgate+’s “Señorita 89”

Dolores Heredia has landed a (god)mother of a role…

The 56-year-old Mexican actress has been added to the cast of Lionsgate+’s Señorita 89, which has been renewed for a second season.

Dolores Heredia Heredia will be joined by Yoshira Escárrega as a series regular on the new season, with production kicking off on October 17 in Mexico City.

Heredia will portray La Madrina, mother of the cartels, who sees power and influence in Jocelyn (Leidi Gutiérrez), and Yoshira Escárrega as Maribel Montaño, who is known as La Santa because the night they found her with her victim’s eyes in her hands, they say the dead man could still see.

In the first season of Señorita 89, Isabel (Natasha Dupeyrón) was crowned; Dolores died (Bárbara López); Elena (Ximena Romo) went into exile and Concepción’s (Ilse Salas) La Encantada empire fell apart.

When Season 2 premieres, the ‘90s are in full swing and the two main TV networks in Mexico find themselves in a war to impose the next queen. While Miss Yucatan (Dupeyrón) tries to keep the crown atop her head, unbeknown to most, there’s a revolution brewing in the depths of the country where there’s a new queen looking to shake things up and change the rules of the game.

In addition to Salas, Romo, Dupeyrón, and Gutiérrez, returning cast members include Juan Manuel BernalLuis Ernesto FrancoEdwarda GurrolaCoty CamachoJuan Carlos Vives, and Aida López.

“After the incredible reception of the first season, both in Mexico and the rest of the world, it was an immense joy to receive the confirmation that there would be a second season,” said Lucia Puenzo, showrunner and writer of the series. “In the second season, our protagonists have understood that nothing is achieved by asking for forgiveness or permission. They are ready to set fire to all limits, borders, privileges… and break once and for, all the stereotypes that say that only princesses have the right to exist.”

Season 1 of the Lionsgate+ Original Series became the top-performing series ever on the service in Mexico – with viewership increasing more than 243% from the premiere episode to the finale, according to the streamer.

Señorita 89 pulled back the curtain on some of the truths and challenges women faced in the ’80s, and we saw viewers wanting more week-over-week,” said Jeff Cooke, Senior Vice President, Programming, International Digital Networks for Starz. “We are thrilled to team up again with Lucia Puenzo and Fabula, to continue the impactful storytelling and its relevancy in today’s modern world that reinforces our commitment to co-producing local and culturally relevant content.”

This eight-episode second season is executive produced by Pablo Larraín, Juan de Dios Larraín, Ángela Poblete, and Mariane Hartard from Fabula and Christian Vesper at Fremantle; written by Lucía Puenzo, who is also a director, María Renée Prudencio and Tatiana Mereñuk; and directed by Nicolás Puenzo, Sílvia Quer and Jimena Montemayor.

Fremantle will handle the International distribution of the series.

Chile Enters Fernando Guzzoni’s “Blanquita” into Oscars Best International Film Race

Fernando Guzzoni may be contending for an Academy Award…

Chile has submitted the 39-year-old film director and scriptwriter’s Blanquita as its official entry for the Best International Film race at the Oscars.

Fernando GuzzoniGuzzoni’s film explores a real-life child prostitution scandal that rocked the country in the early 2000s.

The film was chosen as Chile’s official entry by members of the Chilean Film Academy, in its third selection since its creation in 2018.

“Once again we are witnessing both the quality and diversity of our cinema, as well as the criteria and commitment of our partners: 70% of them voted in this process, the most participatory since we as an Academy have been in charge of choosing the film that represents Chile at the Oscars”, said the body’s executive director Josefina Undurraga.

Blanquita, Fernando Guzzoni Blanquita world premiered in the Horizons section of the Venice Film Festival this year, winning the best screenplay prize for Guzzoni.

Big screen debutant Laura López stars 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.

Award-winning veteran actor Alejandro Goic co-stars as a priest who runs the home where the young woman lives. Other cast members include Amparo Noguera, Marcelo Alonso and Daniela Ramirez.

The feature is inspired by the real-life early 2000s Spiniak Case involving a paedophilia ring run by an entrepreneur and sports club owner, which provided services to a number of high-placed politicians and businessmen.

The case divided Chile as it went through the courts, with doubts being cast on the testimony of key witness who was caught up in the ring as a minor and accused two senators of abusing her.

Guzzoni spent a year investigating the case in-depth before writing his screenplay.

“I am very honored that Blanquita is Chile’s representative at the Oscars and grateful for the support of all my colleagues at the Film Academy,” said Guzzoni.

“The film puts forward in a thriller key an urgent issue about impunity and structural injustice in our country, therefore, it combines audience vocation and a story with high social sensitivity,” he continued.

“We believe that the film being awarded in Venice, the great reception from critics and the support of our international partners and distributors will allow us to carry out a campaign that seeks to make Blanquita’s message visible and position the film in the best possible way.”

Blanquita is Guzzoni’s fourth feature after La ColorinaCarne de Perro and Jesús, about a troubled, teenager who turns to violence in search of thrills.

Blanquita is a powerful and current movie, which should make an impression on the Academy members. I can’t wait for them to see it,” said New Europe CEO Naszewski.

Chile won the Oscar for best international film in 2018 with Sebastían Lelio’s A Fantastic Woman, while Pablo Larrain’s No was nominated for the 2012-13 race and Maite Alberdi’s The Mole Agent was nominated in the Best Documentary category last year.

The deadline for the Best International Film category closed on October 3, with around 85 titles being publicly declared so far. Last year, there were submissions from 93 countries.

Daniel Brühl to Star in Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia’s Thriller “Rich Flu”

Daniel Brühl’s acting riches continue…

The 43-year-old half-Spanish actor has joined the cast of the Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia directed thriller, Rich Flu, alongside Macaulay Culkin.

Daniel BruhlRosamund Pike is attached to star in the film, which is expected to begin production in the fall.

In the film, a strange disease is killing off some of the richest and most influential people on the planet. First it was the billionaires, then the multi-millionaires and so on progressively. Now it threatens to strike anyone with any sort of fortune, and no one knows where it might end. With the whole world panicking and our very way of life headed for collapse, people are trying to flood the market with assets the world no longer wants.

Pedro Rivero, Gaztelu-Urrutia and David Desola wrote the screenplay with revisions by Sam Steiner.

Sierra/Affinity is handling foreign sales and has the project available to buyers at this year’s Cannes Film Market. CAA Media Finance is representing the film domestically.

Producers on Rich Flu include Pablo Larraín and Juan de Dios Larraín via their Fabula banner, which produced the movies Spencer, Jackieand No; Adrián Guerra and Núria Valls via the Nostromo Pictures label; Carlos Juárez; as well as Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia and Albert Soler.

Brühl, who will next star in Stefano Mordini’s racing film 2 Win, was nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the BAFTAs for Ron Howard’s Rush

His previous feature credits include The King’s Man, Captain America: Civil War, Inglourious Basterds and the Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier