By Sydney Levine | Sydneys Buzz March 23, 2011 at 3:14AM
Figa Films Marimbas From Hell just won the $20,000 Ibero Grand Jury Prize in the Miami International Film Festival. This premiered at San Sebastian 2010 and went on to play TIFF 10. Directed by Julio Hernández Cordón, whose Gasolina made an international splash, is now in production on another film to keep in your sites. Marimbas tells the story of Don Alfonso, a deliveryman who also plays marimbas, the traditional Guatemalan instrument who approaches an underground heavy-metal legend, Blacko, suggesting the two fuse their styles. What results is a distinct Guatemalan story that represents one of the things that the Miami International Film Festival clearly does best: showcase great Latin American cinema. (IndieWIRE)
Julio Hernández Cordón's Marimbas From Hell
By guest blogger Peter Belsito
FigaFilms is an LA based international sales agent (acquiring all world rights) and also a North American distributor of Latin American films since 2006.
While in Miami recently I sat down with Partner (along with Sandro Fiorin) and Co Founder Alex Garcia.
Alex was born in Miami, a first generation Cuban American. While a student he moved to L.A. to attend film school and has been working professionally in the L.A. based film business (as an editor, etc) for over 25 years.
I have been following Figa's progress for some years (impressive!!) and consider Alex and Sandro as 'friends in the business'. When we talked the first thing(s) Alex laid out are the type of 'Ibero' / Latin American films they DO NOT want.
- They are NOT looking for genre, obviously commercial (or TV) type films. These can include:
- Mexican 'border stories' (NO!)
- Colombian genre 'drug pictures' (NO!)
- Brazil Favela (slum stories) or Samba fillms (NO!)
They only want original films that are NOT stereotypical
Here in the Miami IFF they have 3 films competing for the Ibero American awards (prestige and some cash awards)
-'Half of Oscar' from Spain - A troubled guy is brought together with his long unseen sister during a family crisis.
- 'Marimbas From Hell' from Guatemala - A dark comedy about some very peculiar guys hustling on the far fringes of the music world.
- 'A Useful Life' (La Vita Util) from Uruguay - Straight neo realist depiction of a cinema addict / scholar whose life is overturned when his beloved theater is closed and his existence is disrupted. (In November 2010 FigaFilms sold North American rights to this film to the Global Film Initiative.)
Today FigaFilms has 30 films in its sales catalog.
A new film they are handling will have its World Premiere in the prestigious South By Southwest Festival. 'Riscado' (or 'Craft' in English) is about a young actress whose life takes an interesting professional turn.
They have three other films hopefully waiting for 'good news' from Cannes Festival du Film programmers.
On March 25 their film 'I Travel Because I Have to, I Come Back Because I Love You' will open theatrically in New York City at the Anthology Film Archives. It is directed by Marcelo Gomes and Karin Ainouz. FigaFilms is distributing in North America and doing worldwide sales.
I Travel Because I Have to, I Come Back Because I Love You