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Netflix, HBO Max Swoop on Streaming Rights to ‘History of the Occult’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety
Variety
 2021-10-11
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In a series of key pacts for Argentine political horror pic, “History of the Occult,” Netflix has snapped up streaming rights to the film for Spain and Latin America, which it plans to drop on Oct. 15, while WarnerMedia’s HBO Max has scooped up all Central European streaming rights.

In addition, Eurozoom took all French rights and plans a first quarter 2022 theatrical release, said Guido Rud, CEO of Buenos Aires-based sales and production company FilmSharks International .

“We believe that high concept horror is hard to find, and high concept with amazing scripts, almost impossible. But miracles happen and we are lucky that we know the right buyers who have the skills and foresight to recognize these gems when we do,” said Rud.

FilmSharks picked up worldwide and remake rights to the genre pic last May. A major U.S. genre producer is eyeing it for a remake, which FilmSharks subsidiary, The Remake Company, handles.

Filmed in black and white and set in the 1980s, the feature debut of Christian Ponce takes place during the last broadcast of the #1 news show on TV, “60 Minutes Before Midnight.” A group of journalists are racing against time to convince the lead guest, Adrian Marcato, to lay bare a conspiracy that connects their crooked government to an actual coven.

Marcato is played by veteran Argentine film, theatre and commercials actor German Baudino whose credits include “Abrakadabra,” 2017’s “Los Olvidados” and “Dia de los Muertos.”

Ponce, whose animated series “The Kirlian Frequency” plays on Netflix, has snagged several awards, among them the Le Film Français prize at Cannes’ Blood Window sidebar where it premiered; the Black Tulip best film honor at Amsterdam’s Imagine Festival; and the best director and audience prizes in the Terror Molins Festival’s Videodrome sidebar.

Regional prizes include the best debut feature and best actor awards from Argentina’s category “A” Mar del Plata Film Festival and best film and script recognitions from Uruguay’s horror and fantasy film festival Nox.

The film also played at Spain’s premier fantastic film festival, Sitges.

FilmSharks has a slew of elevated genre films in its catalog, including “Macabre,” “Play with Me,” “Ferocious Wolf,” “Legions,” “The Shadow of the Rooster,” “Immortal” and “Virtual Reality.”

Meanwhile, The Walt Disney Company, which owns a significant stake in the Patagonik Film Group, has slated a fourth quarter theatrical run across key Latin American territories for Patagonik’s urban drama, “Cato.” The much-anticipated debut feature of Peta Rivero y Hornos stars urban artist Tiago PZK in his screen debut. Judging from the online chatter about the film and its star, the company expects a massive turnout at the box office. FilmSharks snagged world sales rights to the film, with the exception of Latin America, in September.

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