Adding further breadth to its sales slate, Madrid-based sales company Latido Films has acquired international rights to “García y García,” a madcap “Trading Places”-style comedy which was the closing film at this year’s Malaga Film Festival.
The announcement was made on Wednesday midway through this year’s American Film Market. The feature is the latest from Spain’s Ana Murugarren whose “The Bastards’ Fig Tree” was selected for 2018 Austin’s Fantastic Fest and won an award for exceptional emerging artist cinematography at the Hollywood Film Festival.
In a distinct change of register, in “Garcia y Garcia” two men, one an out-of-work aircraft mechanic suffering a bout of depression, the other, a prestigious international airlines consultant, are hired by a low-cost airline Hispavia to reset its fortunes.
But they’re both called Javier García – a common name in Spain – and their identities confused at the airport, leaving the mechanic to devise the airline’s turnaround strategy and the consultant – who doesn’t even know how to fix a flat – to repair an airplane, sparking mayhem and disastrous, though not lethal, consequences.
The high-flying consultant is played by Spanish comedian and actor José Mota, cast opposite Salma Hayak in Alex de la Iglesia’s 2011 movie, “As Luck Would Have It.”
The mechanic’s role is taken by Pepe Viyuela, a comedian and poet whose one-man show, “Lock In,” played at the John Lyon’s Theatre in 2017 as part of the Festival of Spanish Theatre of London.
“García y García” also marks the latest film from veteran producer Joaquín Trincado, who broke through making early films by Enrique Urbizu, such as 1991’s “Anything for Bread,” a breath of fresh air on the Spanish film scene. He has enjoyed a second wind of profesional life producing titles by Murugarren.
Positioned as a late summer comedy, it bowed at Spain’s still deflated box office on Aug. 27 coming €973,125 ($1.1 million) to date.
“We are always on the lookout for original stories, good comedies and a creator’s viewpoint,”Latido Films head Antonio Saura told Variety.
He added: “This very successful comedy from Spain has all the ingredients including two consummate actors and great production values; and, above all, it’s very funny.”