Los Angeles-based company 1844 Entertainment has acquired U.S. distribution and international sales rights to Argentine Betania Cappato’s feature debut “Una escuela en Cerro Hueso” (“A School in Cerro Hueso”).
The autism-themed film, inspired in Cappato’s direct family events, earned a special mention at March’s Berlinale Generation Kplus sidebar.
More from Variety
1844 Entertainment plans to release the movie in U.S. theaters in fourth quarter 2021, supported by a virtual cinema in the case of theaters not yet running by then at a full capacity.
“A School in Cerro Hueso” narrates the inner journey of Ema, a six-year-old girl diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
When Ema reaches school age, her parents move with her from Argentina’s Santa Fe to a humble coastal town at the shore of the Paraná River, where the only school that accepted her application is located.
There, the family will begin a new life as Ema slowly starts to open up to the world around her.
“We are glad to distribute the film in the U.S., representing also the international rights, because, in addition to having appreciated the work of the director with child actors, we were pleasantly fascinated by the story and the delicacy with which it have been narrated by Cappato,” said Tommaso Cerqueglini at 1844 Entertainment.
The film also “led us to reflect on the current period that the world is experiencing, on how suddenly our lives have changed and the momentum of people wanting to rediscover lost hopes,” he added.
Clementina Folmer toplines the cast as the baby girl, alongside actors Mara Bestelli (“El Invierno”) and Pablo Seijo (“La Flor”) as her parents.
The film is produced by Cappato and Iván Fund in co-production with Argentina’s Laura Mara Tablón, Rita Cine and Insomnia Films. Tres Sonido outfit is attached as an associate producer.
1844 often brings international festival hits and critically-acclaimed titles to audiences across the U.S.. Recent examples are two 2018 movies: Marcelo Martinessi’s “The Heiresses,” a Berlin Silver Bear winner and which took the best Latin American film prize at San Sebastian, and Benjamín Naishtat’s “Rojo,” which won best director at San Sebastian.
“Social themes are always a cornerstone in independent cinema titles, as was the case with ‘The Heiresses’, Gustavo Sánchez’s ‘I Hate New York’ and recently Shahrbanoo Sadat’s ‘The Orphanage,’” Cerqueglini argued.
“The expectations with ‘Cerro Hueso’ are high enough in relation to the market that this kind of film has in the U.S.. After the success it had in Berlin and the high demand for it at many other festivals, it will be an excellent opportunity to appreciate it in the world,” he added.
As its U.S. distributor, 1844 Entertainment plans to launch on June 25 – at both theaters and via a virtual cinema scheme – Macedonian Teona Strugar Mitevska’s drama “God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunya,” winner of the Ecumenical Jury Prize at the 69th Berlin Film Festival.
Upcoming 1844 releases also encompass Italo-Argentine Maura Delpero’s “Maternal,” an Ecumenical Jury Prize winner at Locarno, and Carlo Sironi’s “Sole,” which garnered the European Discovery Prize at the 2020 European Film Awards.
Best of Variety