Los Angeles-based Menemsha Entertainment has picked up worldwide rights to Peruvian hit Captain Pantoja And The Special Services (Pantaleon Y Las Visitadores), directed by Francisco Lombardi.
The erotic comedy has attracted more than one million admissions in Peru, an impressive tally in a country that boasts an estimated 132 screens at best. The title also made a sweep of Brazil's Gramado Film Festival this year, reaping all the major awards, including Best Picture.
Written by Giovana Polarolo and Henrique Moncloa from Mario Vargas Llosa's novel Pantaleon, the film is about a dutiful army captain who is given the task of supplying prostitutes to sex-starved soldiers serving in the Peruvian Amazon jungle. Brazil's Art Films has domestic rights.
"We'd been tracking it ever since it won at Gramado - once we saw it, we knew that this was a film that would travel," said Menemsha founder Neil Friedman.
Two-year-old Menemsha has been handling sales of Latin American films since it picked up Argentina's Crane World (Mundo Grua) last year. It also handled worldwide sales for Mexico's The Other Conquest (La Otra Conquista) and Brazil's Estorvo and more recently picked up Ciudad de M, described as a Peruvian version of Larry Clark's Kids.
Menemsha plans to give Captain Pantoja its market debut at the London Screenings and MIFED.