San Sebastian: HBO Takes U.S. Rights, Sony Buys Latin America for LGBT Drama 'Rara'

Rara Still - H 2016
Courtesy of Latido Films

Chilean director Pepa San Martin also reveals her next project, an episode of a TV series about Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca.

In a first big sale at Spain's San Sebastian film festival, HBO and Sony have picked up U.S. and Latin American rights, respectively, to Chilean drama Rara, Pepa San Martin’s feature debut and winner of this year's LGBT Sebastiane-Latino Award at the festival.

Sony took theatrical rights for Mexico, Colombia and Brazil and television rights for all of Latin America, according to Rara producer Macarena Lopez at Santiago-based Manufactura de Peliculas.

Lopez also said that HBO has taken the U.S. rights to the film sold by Madrid-based Latido Films, which would not comment on the deals.

Based on a true story in Chile, LGBT drama Rara focuses on a family that includes a couple, their two daughters and the mother’s partner, a woman. Through the eyes of the adolescent eldest daughter, the film shows the father’s battle to win custody based on the fact that the mother is a lesbian.

Screening in San Sebastian's Latin Horizons sidebar, Rara has been dubbed the "real jewel" of the festival by Spanish cinema.

"What is truly strange is that this gem wasn't placed in the Official competition or that it would leave San Sebastian without any more awards," wrote Carlos Loureda for Fotogramas.

San Martin, whose La Ducha won top short film prizes at the New York International Latino Festival and Berlin, wrote the drama with Alicia Scherson and reaped accolades at last year’s Films in Progress section, where it screened unfinished and generated huge buzz with buyers.

San Martin, who is scheduled to pick up the Sebastiane-Latino award Tuesday in San Sebastian, is on a roll and announced her next project, one of the eight 45-minute episodes of a TV series from Roberto Caston, Lorcas, about historic Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca.

“This would actually usher in a new concept in television, art house TV. Each episode is a different Latin director with a different voice and vision,” Lopez, who will produce San Martin’s episode, explained. “Lorca is an important figure in all of Latin America.”

The project sports a list of Latin America’s hottest directors: Golden Shell winner Mariana Rondon, Locarno’s recent best director winner Joao Pedro Rodrigues, The L-Word’s Rose Troche, and Caston, who has already finished what will be the series’ second episode.

The series presents a kaleidoscope of eight different visions about the poet from Granada who was murdered 80 years ago during Spain’s Civil War and who still stands as a literary, artistic, political and cultural symbol.

In addition to Manufactura, Caston’s Bitart New Media and Ilusion Optica (both from Spain), Fantasma Filmes (Portugal), Misti Prod. (Brazil) and Sudaca Films (Venezuela-Peru) will produce the series.