Xenon Pictures has paid mid-six figures for North American rights to Matthew Bonifacio's Amexicano starring 2008 Grammy nominee Jennifer Pena.

Xenon plans a late spring or summer release on the story of an illegal immigrant who bonds with a blue-collar worker from Queens, New York.

The drama premiere at Tribeca 2007 and most recently won the grand jury prize (THX Award) for best narrative feature at the 2008 Sonoma Valley Film Festival.

Manny Perez stars alongside newcomer Raul Castillo and Carmine Famiglietti, who also wrote the screenplay.

Famiglietti and Bonifacio produced through their production company The Brooklyn-Queens Experiment in association with Madison Park Pictures. Cesar A Baez and Stephen Ashkinos served as executive producers.

The Shutter Speed Group negotiated the deal with Xenon on behalf of the producers.

'We wanted to put a face on the undocumented day labourers in America,' Bonifacio said. 'With the coming presidential election, immigration is obviously going to be a major issue.'

'The political aspects of the film are certainly intriguing and mirror - in a very different way - those that made A Day Without A Mexican such a success for us,' Xenon's COO Steve Housden said. 'But just like with A Day Without A Mexican, Amexicano is enjoyable entertainment, rather than bare political discourse.'

Bonifacio and Famiglietti's first feature Lbs. received its world premiere at Sundance 2004.