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Acquisitions – Foreign Films

Nothing But Net; Weinsteins Kick Campanella’s “Underdogs” into August

Some call it table soccer, the majority of us call it foosball, and the Weinsteins are calling it a cash cow. Variety announced that they acquired rights in multiple territories (including the actively growing soccer market of the U.S.) to Juan Jose Campanella’s animated feature — yes, this is from the same Argentinian filmmaker who directed the Best Foreign Picture thriller The Secret in Their Eyes. An English cast and August 27th release date will be put in place.

Gist: This tells the story of Amadeo, a shy but talented boy, and of a foosball team that is trying to get back together after having been dismantled. With the help of the foosball players, Amadeo will have to face his most terrible rival on the football pitch: the Champ. Guided by their leader, the charismatic Right Winger, the foosball players and Amadeo will set off on a great adventure together, like a true team, to get back the dignity that the Champ stole from them. Football is the stage on which this story of love, respect, friendship and passion is played out.

Worth Noting: This has the distinction of being the e most expensive Argentine film of all time, and the most expensive Latin American animated feature ever.

Do We Care?: With a Toy Story-esque To infinity… and beyond feel, this summer’s world cup fever should give Underdogs further clout. Let’s see who toplines the English voices.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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