Neil Friedman's LA-based sales and distribution outfit Menemsha Films has acquired North American rights to Argentine police drama El Bonaerense, the second feature from Pablo Trapero.
Menemsha secured all rights (with the exception of pay-TV, which went to HBO) from Wild Bunch/ TVOR.
Trapero won widespread critical acclaim with his directorial debut Crane World (Mundo Grua). "Crane World got incredible attention in Europe but did not get the same exposure in the US where plans for domestic distribution never materialised, " said Friedman. "It is time for Pablo's work to be seen in the US," he added.
Menemsha will kick off a theatrical release in the autumn starting in New York and San Francisco. "We will bicycle the film from one to two cities at a time," said Friedman. The cities of Miami and Los Angeles in particular have strong Argentine expatriate communities but I am sure the drama also will attract an arthouse audience," he added. "It will be a review-driven film."
Friedman developed a personal relationship with Trapero that started when his company handled the worldwide sales of Crane World.
El Bonaerense, which had its international premiere in the Un Certain Regard at Cannes last year, is a wry look at the corruption in Argentina's police force and in its society as a whole. Trapero's anti hero, played by Jorge Roman, is a small-town locksmith who gets involved in a robbery. His ex cop uncle pulls some strings under the condition that he join the police force. He heads into the big city where he is enlisted into El Bonaerense, the infamously corrupt Buenos Aires police force.
This is the second Spanish-language film Menemsha Films has distributed in the US. A year and a half ago, it distributed Gerardo Vera's erotic drama Second Skin (Spain), starring Javier Bardem, which grossed $250,000.