Italy’s The Open Reel has closed several international theatrical and VOD rights deals, an increasingly popular combination as questions of theatrical exhibition linger during COVID-19, for a raft of titles ahead of and at this year’s Ventana Sur market, with designs on closing several more at the hybrid multi-city event.
Spanish filmmaker Daniel Sánchez Lopez’s debut feature “Boy Meets Boy” found a North American distributor in Ariztical Entertainment, as well as deals with Salzgeber for Germany and German-speaking countries, Tongariro Releasing for VOD rights in Poland and Portico Media in Southern and Southeast Asia.
In the film, Harry meets Johannes in a Berlin dance club after partying for 48 hours straight. With only 15 hours before his flight home, Johannes offers to help Harry print his plane ticket, a seemingly mundane task which unspools as a late-night odyssey in the streets of Berlin.
Portuguese feature “Guardian Angel” from director João Maia was picked up by Risi Films in Italy, who secured both theatrical and VOD rights.
“Guardian Angel” turns on António Variações, born in a small village in Amares, in northern Portugal who moves to Lisbon to stay with relatives after outgrowing his rural setting. With dreams of travel he emigrates and works as a barber, although his real passion is music and performance. Eventually, wanting to perform in his native language, he returns and faces down old discriminations to live out his dream.
Additionally, deals were struck on a pair of shorts. “Just in My Head” from Marius Gabriel Stancu was picked up by Dekkoo for North America and the U.K. and Tongariro Releasing for Poland, while Here Media picked up North American VOD rights to Venice Critics’ Week player “J’ador” by Simone Bozzelli.
In acquisitions, The Open Real has picked up Iranian filmmaker Negin Kianfar’s (“The Birthday”) documentary feature “A New Day.” The film follows Maryam who lives with her conservative religious family. Although only 25, Maryam works in a self-funded pedagogical where she helps raise ten severely abused boys aged 16-20 suffering from psychological disorders. For two years cameras rolled, capturing good and bad days, and eventually catching up with some who have moved on.