May 23, 2024

West Hollywood-based indie distribution outfit Indican Pictures (“Gossamer Folds”) has secured North American rights for Santiago Fillol’s political thriller “Matadero” (“Slaughterhouse”). 

The debut fiction feature from the Argentine director saw its world premiere in competition at Locarno in 2022, with further festival bows at Mar Del Plata and Seville before December theatrical runs in Argentina and Spain via Cinetren and Begin Again Films, respectively.

Negotiations were handled by Randolph Kret of Indican Pictures alongside Brett Walker and partner Miguel Angel Govea at Alief (“Driving Mum”), who handle world sales on behalf of the filmmakers outside of Argentina, France, Spain and Switzerland.

“Indican Pictures is pleased to acquire the Argentinian film “Matadero”– it’s a compelling story that will have viewers on the edge of their seat,” Indican co-founder Randolph Kret told Variety.

Set up in the Argentine pampas, 1970, the narrative nods to the shocking, hyper-realistic cinema of the era and follows U.S. filmmaker Jared (Julio Perillán) as he hones in on his over-the-top cinematic vision, a gutsy retelling of a 19th-century text by Estaban Echeverría.

The story of the clandestine shoot unfolds through narration from Jared’s assistant Vicenta (Malena Villa), who recounts the struggle to maintain sanity amidst the uprising that threatened the film’s trajectory.

“On the eve of the commercial-non gore-PG-13 horror resurgence “Matadero” is the Arthouse counterpart. Indican sees what Alief sees, that Santiago’s premise and execution of his paranoid giallo meets political thriller appeals to a wider audience that yearns for intelligent thrills without on-screen carnage,” Govea relayed.

The film marks an enthusiastic international co-production between Fernando Molnar and Sebastián Schindel at Argentina’s Magoya Films (“El Patrón”) and Antonio Pita at Cordoba-based Prisma Ciné (“El Vasco”), alongside Andrea Queralt at France’s 4à4 Productions (“Fire Will Come”) and José Ángel Alayon and Marina Alberti at Spain’s El Viaje Films (“El mar nos mira de lejos”) and Tània Balló at Catalonia’s Nina Films.

Ailín Salas (“Lulu”), Rafael Federman (“Rojo”), Lina Gorbaneva (“La Verdad”), Ernestina Gatti (“Bailarina”), David Szechtman (“Hortensia”) and Gustavo Javier Rodríguez round out the cast.

Indican, founded by  Shaun Hill and Kret in in 2004, has released more than 425 films and boast key digital and streaming partnerships that include Magnolia, Lionsgate, Criterion and Giant Pictures.  

Alief’s 2023 slate includes Sundance winner and Nigeria 2024 Oscars contender “Mami Wata” by C.J. Obasi; 2023 Tallinn main competition title “Once Again (For The Very First Time)” by NAACP winner Boaz Yakin (“The Harder They Fall”); and “Ramona” by True False Vision 23 winner Victoria Linares Villega.

Credit: Magoya Films, Prisma Cine, 4a4 Productions, El Viaje FIlms, Nina Films

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