In a summer marked by local box office successes across ahost of international territories, Latin American country Chile has not beenleft out.

Local drama Machucalaunched last Thursday (Aug 5) in the country and has quickly become the mostsuccessful Chilean film ever, selling over 100,000 tickets in less than a week.

The film's opening weekend saw 59,525 admissions and rankednumber one in the territory above all competing Hollywood titles on release.

The home success follows a good run through Alta Films inSpain where Machuca has grossed$325,205 (Euros 265,322) over nine weeks.

Directed by Andres Wood the film, which played in Director'sFortnight at this year's Cannes Film Festival, stars young newcomers MatiasQuer, Ariel Mateluna and Manuela Martelli and features veteran Argentine actorFederico Luppi.

Machuca is set in1973 Chile against the background of the coup that saw the last days in powerof Salvador Allende and the arrival of General Pinochet.

International sales on the film, which has yet to be pickedup for distribution in North America, are handled by Latido. Artifical Eye willrelease the film in the UK. Ocean Films is expected to launch on 60 prints inFrance in January.

Machuca follows inthe footsteps of other local triumphs this summer including Les Choristes in France, Russian horror Night Watch, German comedy (T)Raumschiff Surprise - Periode 1 andArgentine animation Patoruzito.