Lightning Entertainment has acquired international rights to the Mexican hit El Infierno and has commenced talks with buyers here on the crime story - retitled El Narco for the international market.

Luis Estrada wrote and directed the film, screening at the market, about a migrant worker in the US who is deported to Mexico and gets involved in the drug cartels. Damian Alcazar stars.

The filmmakers structured a service deal with Alfonso Lopez’ Alfaville Cinema after Mexican distributors baulked at the idea of carrying the provocative release. It opened in Mexico last September and became the second biggest Mexican film of the year on close to $7m.

Lightning Entertainment corporate counsel AnaLisa Valle and Guardian Entertainment International president Richard S Guardian brokered the deal for Lightning with producers’ rep Monica Lozano of Estudio Mexico Films and Estrada’s Bandidos Films. 

Guardian is engaged as a sales and acquisitions consultant by his former employer and will be working with the Lightning sales team in Cannes.

“Monica and I have had a wonderful working relationship, and friendship, since she ran Altavista Films and brought me in on the Diego Luna film Nicotina,” Guardian said.

El Narco blew me away and is going to open the eyes of many distributors and their audiences. The film is a powerful look into the violence that is scarring Mexico today, through a fast-paced entertaining story that is laced with dark humour.”