Shoreline nabs rights to 'Chance' film

Abner Benaim's comedy is No. 1 pic in Panama

MEXICO CITY -- Shoreline Entertainment has picked up worldwide rights to Panamanian director Abner Benaim's hit feature "Chance."

Co-produced by Benaim's shingle Apertura Films and Matthias Ehrenberg's Colombian production arm Rio Negro Producciones, "Chance" has enjoyed unprecedented success in its native Panama. Freshman helmer Benaim said that in its third week, "Chance" was holding on to the No. 1 spot above "Avatar."
"It's a symbolic win, of course," Benaim said. "I don't think (James) Cameron is going to lose sleep over this, but comparatively it's an important figure."
The comedy, co-written by Benaim, centers on two mistreated live-in housekeepers who take their employers' families hostage.
UIP released the picture on 20 prints in the tiny Panamanian market, a large release by local standards, and it marks the first time that a domestic production there has successfully competed with Hollywood fare. UIP also will release the film in Colombia and several Central American and Caribbean nations.
For Shoreline, "Chance" joins its growing slate of Spanish-language titles, including recent Sundance premieres "Undertow" (Contracorriente) and "Southern District" (Zona Sur), as well as Chilean director Sebastian Silva's award-winning drama "The Maid" (La Nana). "Undertow" was sold to Wolf Releasing shortly after its Sundance release.
Shoreline CEO Morris Ruskin is impressed with the strong opening of "Chance" in Panama and the results of his company's other Latin American acquisitions.
"After the worldwide success of 'The Maid' last year and the six-figure deal on 'Undertow' at Sundance this year, as well as the awards, Shoreline is growing ever more confident in our decision to branch out as a company and sell Spanish-language films around the world," he said.