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BERLIN — Roadside Attractions has won a lively bidding war for U.S. rights to Chilean director Sebastian Lelio‘s acclaimed Gloria.
The film, starring Paulina Garcia as an older divorcee seeking adventure and love, has quickly transformed into the critical hit of the festival since premiering Sunday night to rave reviews. (Read THR‘s review here.)
Set in modern-day Santiago, Gloria centers on a spirited 58-year-old (Garcia) who refuses to retreat from life, frequenting nightclubs and meeting a charming former naval officer in his 60s who sweeps her off her feet. But they are faced with the realities of their lives and their pasts.
Sergio Hernandez stars opposite Garcia, whose performance puts her squarely in the running for Berlin’s best actress award.
At a news conference before Sunday’s premiere, Lelio said his inspiration for the film was his mother and her generation.
“I would say that we are all facing what Gloria is facing, but it just happens to some people sooner than others,” he told reporters in Berlin, where the film is playing in Competition. “We all face crossroads in our lives where we can retreat into ourselves or we can hit the dance floor.”
Roadside was one of several U.S. distributors bidding for domestic rights to Gloria, with buyers showing up at the postpremiere party for the film to track down Juan de Dios Larrain and Pablo Larrain of Chilean production company Fabula Films, which produced the movie.
“We have all fallen in love with Gloria, and we think everyone else will too,” Roadside co-president Eric d’Arbeloff said. He and fellow co-president Howard Cohen negotiated the deal with Funny Balloons’ Peter Danner.
Roadside is planning a 2013 release in time for next year’s awards season.
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