Tony Manero: Pablo Larrain at Cannes Fest Directors Fortnight

May 3, 2008–Paris-based Funny Balloons has taken international rights to Cannes Directors Fortnight Tony Manero, a story of obsession from emerging Chilean director Pablo Larrain, set in 1979 Santiago de Chile.

Dealing with cultural identity and historical detail, Larrains second feature uses off-the-rails, impoverished, over-the-hill imitator of Travoltas character (called Tony Manero) in Saturday Night Fever, a youth who’s desperate to win fame and cash in a dance-like-Travolta TV contest.

Meanwhile, tanks rumble through the citys streets as Pinochets regime clamps down on anti-government activists, including the mans dance group members.

Tony Manero” is a story about obsession and survival in difficult times, a drama with a sense of grotesque tragedy. The film was produced by Larrains brother, Juan de Dios Larrain, for their Chilean Fabula, in co-production with Brazils Prodigital.

Manero is Funny Balloons second pickup on a Latin America film screening at a big festival. It took international on Fernando Eimbckes Berlin Competition entry Lake Tahoe, which will receive a Fipresci Revelation of the Year screening in Cannes Critics Week.

Tahoe has sold to date to some 20 territories; 10 more deals are pending, and a U.S. sale is under negotiation, Danner said.

Larrains debut, Fuga, about an unhinged composer, was a B.O. hit in Chile, winning kudos at festivals like Cartagena, Malaga and Trieste