Francisco Vargas' El Violin, the first distribution release from Diego Luna, Gael Garcia Bernal and Pablo Cruz's outfit Canana, has been a surprise hit in Mexico on 20 prints, scoring the number one ranking at the box office in its first weekend and some 36,000 admissions in its first week.

The black-and-white movie about a one-armed, aged violin player had failed to score a local distribution deal despite worldwide acclaim at film festivals, until Canana, principally a production venture, decided to step in.

'Our company wanted to prove that Mexican independent films can find local audiences and push for a better deal from exhibitors,' said Vargas, 'and El Violin is proof of that. This positive result proves there is still hope for local movies.'