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Sundance 2013: Cinedigm Nabs North American Rights to 'Narco Cultura'

The film, directed by Israeli photographer and filmmaker Shaul Schwarz, will get a theatrical release and awards qualifying run in 2013.

Narco Cultura
"Narco Cultura"

Cinedigm has acquired North American distribution rights to Israeli photographer and filmmaker Shaul Schwarz’s Narco Cultura, which made its world premiere last week at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in the documentary competition section.

To a growing number of Mexicans and Latinos in the Americas, narco-traffickers have become iconic outlaws, glorified by musicians who praise their new models of fame and success. To this new constituency, they represent a pathway out of the ghetto, nurturing a new American dream fueled by an addiction to money, drugs, and violence. Narco Cultura examines the drug cartels’ pop culture influence on both sides of the border as seen through the eyes of an L.A. narcocorrido singer dreaming of stardom and a Juarez crime-scene investigator on the front line of Mexico’s Drug War.

"From the first time I went to Juarez in 2008 as a photojournalist, I knew I wanted to tell the complex story of the drug war not from the side of policy, police, or cartel but instead from the lives of people who are directly and indirectly affected by the endless cycle of violence," Schwarz said. "Today I am ecstatic that Cinedigm has come onboard to distribute this film."

The film was produced by Parts & Labor’s Lars Knudsen and Jay Van Hoy and Ocean Size Pictures’ Todd Hagopian. Fred Warren and Robin Warren executive produced. The film also will screen at the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival in the Panorama section.

Cinedigm plans a theatrical release and awards qualifying run for the film in 2013.

"Through its unprecedented access and shocking imagery, Narco Cultura reveals the complex interplay between the tyranny wrought by the drug cartels as well as their prominent role in defining the culture at large," said Vincent Scordino, Cinedigm's vp acquisitions, theatrical. "We are so proud to be working with Shaul and the producers to bring Narco Cultura to audiences who, upon seeing the film, will not be able to ignore this crisis any longer."

Emily Rothschild, director of acquisitions for Cinedigm, negotiated the deal with CAA, which repped the filmmakers.

Email: Tatiana.Siegel@THR.com, Twitter: @TatianaSiegel27