By Holly Jones

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“Championext”(“Campeonex”), the anticipated follow-up to Javier Fesser’s Spanish comedy triumph “Champions” (“Campeones”) which scooped Forqué, Goya, and Feroz awards for best picture and delighted audiences to the tune of a stellar €18.5 million ($21.4 million) box office grab, has been acquired for international sales by Latido Films (“The Beasts”).

Written by Fesser (“Camino”) and Athenea Mata (“El Secreto de Lilith”) in collaboration with David Marqués, the film follows nearly the same cast of beloved characters two years after they’ve left the fierce competition behind. A Los Amigos reunion will see “the landscape move from the world of basketball to the world of athletics for people with disabilities while making room to explore the fascinating world of metaverses and virtual reality,” Fesser revealed in a statement.

Delving further into the world of its protagonists, the film allows for a broader reveal while cementing the feel-good sentiment and relatability that brought the original high-acclaim.

“The public’s goodwill and interest in these issues, due to the success of the original film, obliges us to focus on deeper, more committed themes such as family issues, social barriers, how we deal with pain and forgiveness, as well as the way people with disabilities are treated more widely, as well as conflict resolution,” Fesser stated.

An acquisition that comes as two dramas from Latido’s recent Spanish slate, Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s “The Beasts” and Alauda Ruiz de Azúa’s “Lullaby,” swept this year’s Feroz and Goya awards ceremonies.

Latido’s CEO, Antonio Saura, told Variety that,“‘Champions’ could only be described as an utter joy ride for Latido, it did not only prove to be brisk business for us but, also, there aren’t that many films that can change the way you look at life.

 “Javier Fesser is a master of emotions, bringing you to tender tears while also making you smile and even laugh at the same time. When we heard that ‘Championext’ was in the works, we could only jump to that train again,” he added.

“Championext” is produced by Luis Manso at Fesser’s Madrid-based Películas Pendleton (“Historias Lamentables”) alongside Alvaro Longoria at Spain’s Morena Films (“Piggy”) who revealed in a statement,“The production approach is ‘continuist’ in that we want to celebrate as much of the spirit of the original as possible, as well as working with the same partners, TVE, Movistar and Universal, the same technical team, and the wonderful cast who were Los Amigos.”

Oscar Alonso, head of acquisitions & festivals at Latido concluded: “Whether you already knew the characters from the previous box office hit or not, I guarantee you’ll fall in love with and root for the most touching team to hit the screen this year. Working with Morena again, one of the biggest Spanish producers, was also a reason to bring this pivotal title, in our coming soon lineup, to international audiences.”


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