June 23, 2024

New York-based Cinema Tropical has pounced on the U.S. theatrical rights to Fabián Hernández’s debut feature “A Male” (“Un Varón”), Colombia’s official submission to the 2024 Oscar race.

The drama, which had its world premiere at Cannes Directors’ Fortnight last year, will open in New York City on Dec. 8 before rolling out to other key cities.

Inspired by events in Hernández’s teen years, “A Male” revolves around Carlos (played by newcomer Dilan Felipe Ramírez Espitia), a young man living in a Bogota youth shelter, seeking solace from life’s harsh realities. On Christmas, Carlos yearns to reunite with his mother and sister, who are trapped in the cycle of urban violence.

Leaving the shelter, Carlos confronts the unforgiving streets of his neighborhood, where survival is dictated by the law of the strongest, the alpha ‘macho.’ In his quest for a family reunion, Carlos must prove his worth among them while battling the conflicting notions of masculinity within himself.

“The film, elegantly directed, marks an auspicious debut by director Hernández,” said Carlos A. Gutiérrez, executive director of Cinema Tropical who acquired “A Male” from Sébastien Chesneau, partner, acquisitions & sales at the Dubai-based sales agency Cercamon.

Securing a U.S. distributor is often pivotal to nabbing the attention of Academy voters when contending for the best international feature film Oscar prize. In the face of approximately 100 submissions from across the globe, a well-thought-out marketing and distribution strategy becomes imperative to generate buzz and garner enough votes for a title to break into the top five contenders list, let alone secure the top honor. Most importantly, it must connect with audiences.

“’A Male’ is a poignant exploration of toxic masculinity that resonates on a global scale,” said Chesneau, adding: “The film’s deep emotional core and outstanding performances are testament to the evolving landscape of Latin American cinema, and we are thrilled to see it gain the recognition it truly deserves in the U.S. market.”

Expressing his great pride and honor for having his film represent Colombia at the Oscars, Hernández said: “It reflects the rigorous and honest work with which we have made the film. It also represents the possibility that other points of view and other dissident cinemas from the hegemonic prototype can open up possibilities to find new audiences.”

Manuel Ruiz Montealegre’s Medio de Contencion Producciones in Colombia produced “A Male” with France’s In Vivo Films, Fortuna Films (Netherlands), Black Forest Films (Germany) and RTVC Play (Colombia).

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