IFC FILMS PUTS TOGETHER “PUZZLE” AS COMPANY ANNOUNCES DEAL FOR ACCLAIMED ARGENTINE FILM
DEBUT FILM FROM NATALIA SMIRNOFF HAD ITS PREMIERE IN COMPETITION AT THE 2010 BERLINALE
New York (NY) (February 19, 2009) – IFC Films, the leading American distributor of independent and foreign films, announced today it is acquiring North American rights to the crowd pleasing Argentine film PUZZLE, the debut feature from Natalia Smirnoff which had its world premiere in competition at the 2010 Berlinale. The film is produced by Carousel Films’ Gabriele Pastore and Caroline Dhainaut from La Ninas Pictures. IFC Films plans to take the film to upcoming fall film festivals and release the film shortly thereafter.
The deal for PUZZLE was negotiated by Elizabeth Nastro, IFC Films Director of Acquisitions and Co-Productions, with Emilie Georges and Tanja Meissner of Memento Films International.
In PUZZLE, Maria del Carmen (Maria Onetto) is a forty-something housewife whose only concern over the past twenty years has been the well-being of her husband (Gabriel Goity) and of her now grown-up kids. But when she is offered a puzzle for her birthday, she suddenly discovers she has a very special gift: she can assemble puzzles very fast. It’s not long before she takes on a training partner, a suave millionaire (Arturo Goetz) who opens her eyes to her gifts. Maria’s family has no idea about her new passion since it means nothing to either her husband or her sons. But before long her puzzle mania becomes a serious testing ground, and Maria must decide how much she can expect from her men.
IFC Films will release PUZZLE in 2010 via its IFC in Theaters platform which brings critically-acclaimed independent movies to on-demand viewers at home the same day they premiere in theaters.
Jonathan Sehring, President of IFC Entertainment commented, “PUZZLE completely charmed our entire team at the Berlinale. It is one of the rare crowd pleasers that manages to respect its audience and deliver profound thrills due to top notch direction by Natalia Smirnoff and fantastic performances. We think this film is going to connect with American audiences in a big way on all of our platforms and are thrilled to be in business with Natalia Smirnoff and Memento Films.”
Tanja Meissner of Memento Films said, “As one of the hottest titles at the Berlinale market, PUZZLE has already sold in over 15 territories with several others still under negotiation. IFC Films is the perfect home for PUZZLE in the U.S. and we are thrilled with their team’s enthusiasm for the film.”
About the Filmmaker
Natalia Smirnoff was born in Buenos Aires in 1972. After studying engineering she took up studies in film directing at film school in Buenos Aires. She has worked as a casting director on films such as Lucreta Martel’s 3 films TH HEADLESS WOMAN, THE HOLY GIRL and LA CIENEGA and as assistant director for Pablo Treero, Jorge Gaggero, Alajnadro Argresti. PUZZLE is her debut film.