• Mon. Mar 20th, 2023

Sideshow, Janus Films Acquire Berlin Award-Winning Family Drama Tótem

Feb 28, 2023

Sideshow and Janus Films have acquired North American rights to the Berlin-premiering family drama “Tótem,” written and directed by “The Chambermaid” helmer Lila Avilés.

Winner of the festival’s Ecumenical Jury Prize, the film follows seven-year-old Sol, who spends the day at her grandfather’s home, helping her aunts Nuri and Alejandra with the preparations for a surprise party they’re throwing for her father, Tonatiuh, who is terminally ill. However, as night descends, a strange and chaotic atmosphere takes over, shattering the bonds that hold the family together, and Sol will come to understand that her world will change dramatically.

Sideshow and Janus Films are planning a theatrical release later this year.

“Intimate, emotionally rich Berlin competition entry ‘Tótem’ immerses audiences in a boisterous family gathering,” wrote Variety’s Peter DeBruge about the film.

“Tótem” is produced by Tatiana Graullera, Avilés and Louise Riousse. The film introduces young actor Naíma Sentíes in her first role and also stars Montserrat Marañon (“Bardo”), Marisol Gasê, Saori Gurza, Mateo García Elizondo, Teresita Sánchez, Francisco Maldonado, Iazua Larios and Alberto Amador.

Sideshow and Janus Films said: “We were fans of Lila Avilés’ ‘The Chambermaid,’ but we were not prepared for the overwhelming emotional response we had to ‘Tótem.’ This joyous and exuberant film is a true discovery that will bring people out to theaters. It also establishes Avilés as one of the most exciting new, young directors working today. We could not be more excited to work with her and her team to bring this film to American audiences.”

Avilés added: “This is a dream come true. I am very honored, grateful and filled with joy about our collaboration with Janus Films and Sideshow. We made ‘Tótem’ with a great deal of care and passion, and I feel lucky to have a distributor that shares our love of cinema. Totem could not be in better hands.”

The deal was negotiated by Alpha Violet on behalf of the filmmakers with Janus Films and Sideshow. The film is a Limerencia Films, Laterna, Paloma Productions and Alpha Violet Production.

Sideshow and Janus Films are the U.S. distributors of Jerzy Skolimowski’s Oscar contender “EO,” which has just passed $1 million at the domestic box office. The film is also streaming exclusively on Criterion Channel and available on digital. The companies’ first collaboration together was Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Oscar-winning “Drive My Car.”

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