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LARED Picks Up Jose Luis Garcia's Documentary 'The Girl From the South'

Latin American distribution network gets rights for Argentina, Mexico, Chile and Uruguay.

BUENOS AIRES – Latin American distribution network LARED has picked up regional rights for The Girl From the South, a documentary by Argentine director Jose Luis Garcia that is having its international premiere in Toronto, after winning special mention at the Buenos Aires Film Festival last April.

The Girl From the South depicts Garcia’s search for South Korean peace activist Im Su-kyong, whom the director met in 1989 at an International Student Festival in Pyongyang (North Korea) where he attended as part of an Argentine delegation of journalists and activists. A teenager at the time, Su-kyong travelled secretly to Pyongyang and became a widely popular political figure known as “the Flower of Reunification." Girl features archive VHS footage of Garcia’s experiences in Pyongyang as well as his efforts to find Su-kyong 20 years later.

LARED is a regional network of LatAm independent distributors LATE (Uruguay and Argentina), Malaparte Distribucion (Chile) ND Mantarraya, and Interior13 (both from Mexico) Uruguayan company Mutant Film and Colombia’s Cineplex are also linked to the network.

The distrib alliance was born out of the Valdivia Film Festival’s program Australab, which promotes LatAm film distribution through its platform Cinema Without Borders. A new acquisition by LARED is expected to be announced in the next edition of Valdivia.

Distribution of Latin American films within the region is one of the main debts in the growing LatAm film industry, where the exhibition circuit is dominated by Hollywood blockbusters. Even cases like the all-time box office hit Elite Squad 2, which beat Avatar in Brazil with 11 million tickets sold, was never released in main markets such as Argentina or Mexico.

“Today, everyone agrees distribution is the main obstacle in our rights chain, but the efforts of the Latin American audiovisual institutions are non-existent," says Australab delegate Erick Gonzalez to THR.

“For years, each country tried to improve film production. Sadly, no one posed the question of what we needed to do once all those films once were finished. Today we face the question of not knowing how to make room for those films in the theaters. It’s not enough for the films to be picked up by international sales agents, they must circulate in the region," he added.

LatAm sales rights for The Girl From the South were purchased directly from the producer, while the rest of the world is handled by international sales company Taskovski Films.