Santa Monica-based Lightning Entertainment has picked up all international sales rights excluding Latin America to Carlos Carrera’s Mexican foreign language Oscar submission Backyard (El Traspatio).

Lightning co-president Richard Guardian brokered the deal with the producers at Toronto and will introduce the crime thriller to buyers at AFM. Paramount released the film in Mexico and will distribute throughout Latin America.

Backyard follows a tough detective played by Ana De La Reguera on the trail of a woman killer in the border town of Ciudad Juarez.

Jimmy Smits, Joaquin Cosio, Sayed Bedreya, Alejandro Calva and Amorita Rasgado also star in the story, which according to the producers is based on real events. Sabina Berman wrote the screenplay and produced with Isabelle Tardan. 

Carrera previously directed The Crime Of Father Amaro starring Gael Garcia Bernal, which remains Mexico’s highest grossing film of all time.

“It is both terrific film-making and a story that must be told,” Guardian said of Backyard. “I’m excited and proud that the film-makers have entrusted Lighting Entertainment to handle it.”

Lightning Entertainment’s slate includes Jonathan Hensleigh’s The Irishman starring Ray Stevenson, Christopher Walken, Val Kilmer, romantic comedy Coach, comedy Taking Chances starring Justin Long and Emmanuelle Chriqui, and supernatural thriller Road Train.