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Magnolia Adds Irish Oscar Entry to Awards Slate

Magnolia Adds Irish Oscar Entry to Awards Slate

Adding to its Scandinavian awards slate of Oscar entries from Norway (disaster movie “The Wave”), Sweden (“A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence”) and Denmark’s “A War,” Magnolia Pictures has acquired North American rights to “Viva,” a crowd-pleaser directed by Irish filmmaker Paddy Breathnach (“Man About Dog”). 

Set in colorful contemporary Havana, “Viva” follows a young hairdresser (Héctor Medina) who reluctantly takes back his alcoholic, ailing father (Jorge Perugorría) to live with him in the apartment he abandoned long ago. Not only does his father disapprove of his gay son, but he forbids him to perform in drag at a Havana nightclub run by his son’s mentor, Mama (Luis Alberto García), unknowingly forcing him to hustle instead. This heart-tugger should play well for art-house audiences and Academy foreign voters. 

Produced by Treasure Entertainment’s Rebecca O’Flanagan and Robert Walpole, executive produced by Benicio del Toro and written by Mark O’Halloran, “Viva” was a buzzy hit with both audiences and critics at Telluride. 
 
Also starring Cindy Luis Manuel Álvarez, Pamela Renata (Maikel Machín Blanco), and Cecilia Laura Alemán, “Viva” was co-produced with Nelson Navarro Navarro from Island Films in Cuba. The film was financed by the Irish Film Board, Treasure Entertainment and Windmill Lane Pictures.
Magnolia is planning a theatrical release in 2016. Magnolia is also campaigning for Oscars for docs “Best of Enemies,” “Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine” and “The Wolfpack.” 

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