Samuel Goldwyn Takes North America on Latido-Sold ‘This Is Not Berlin’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Jamie Lang

Announced at the Cannes Film Market, L.A.’s Samuel Goldwyn Films acquired the North America rights to Hari Sama’s semi-autobiographical “This is Not Berlin.”

The deal was negotiated between Samuel Goldwyn Films’ Meg Longo, and Jason Ishikawa and Shane Riley from Cinetic Media on behalf of Madrid’s Latido films, which handles international sales.

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Sama co-wrote the film with Rodrigo Ordóñez and Max Zunino, and co-produced with Ale García, Antonio Urdapilleta and Verónica Valadez P.

Having participated at a number of Latin American works in progress events, the film premiered to critical praise in Sundance, where Variety’s Dennis Harvey acknowledged it as “something special.”

Set in the politically contentious Mexico City of 1986, the film follows 17-year-old Carlos through a year of turmoil as he distances himself from his mother and childhood friends whose interests no longer align with his own.

Using his punk front-woman sister and acumen for fixing electronic equipment, Carlos forces his way into the city’s music-fueled underground where he is introduced to a world of sexual freedom, art and drugs.

“Nearly all the music was curated by me,” Sama told Variety at a works in progress screening at the Morelia Film Festival last October. “The soundtrack is the music that I grew up with in my teenage years. When I couldn’t get the rights to some music I made my own that had the energy I needed.”

In addition to the film’s period-appropriate soundtrack, hundreds of pieces of artwork were used from Sama’s own collection, or commissioned by him to be used as set decoration.

The film stars youngsters Xabiani Ponce De León, José Antonio Toledano and Ximena Romo Mercado with apperances by Sama himself, “Roma’s” Oscar-nominated supporting actress Marina Tavira.

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