Magnolia Pictures has acquired North American rights to Viva, the coming-of-age pic about a young gay man’s reconciliation with his estranged and disapproving father. The movie is from Irish director Paddy Breathnach and is set in Cuba; Ireland made it their submission into the foreign-language Oscar race. A 2016 theatrical release is being eyed.
Viva stars Héctor Medina as Jesus, a young hairdresser working at a Havana nightclub that showcases drag performers, who dreams of being a performer himself. Encouraged by his mentor, Mama (Luis Alberto García), Jesus finally gets his chance to take the stage. But when his estranged father Angel (Jorge Perugorría) abruptly reenters his life, his world is quickly turned upside down. Cindy Luis Manuel Álvarez, Pamela Renata (Maikel Machín Blanco), and Cecilia Laura Alemán co-star.
Mark O’Halloran wrote the movie and Benicio Del Toro counts among the executive producers, coming on just before its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival. Treasure Entertainment’s Rebecca O’Flanagan and Robert Walpole are producers, and Nelson Navarro Navarro from Island Films in Cuba co-produced. The film was financed by the Irish Film Board, Treasure Entertainment and Windmill Lane Pictures.
Magnolia SVP Acquisitions Dori Begley and Magnolia VP Acquisitions John Von Thaden made the deal with Josh Braun of Submarine and Nate Bolotin of XYZ Films on behalf of the filmmakers.