UK distributor Dogwoof has taken the international rights to Cartel Land (pictured), Matthew Heineman’s documentary on the Mexican drug war.
The film – which picked up directing and cinematography prizes in the U.S. documentary competition at the Sundance Film Festival on Saturday (January 31) – follows two different vigilante groups battling Mexican drug cartels from either side of the Mexico-U.S. border. While the Arizona Border Recon monitors a 52-mile desert stretch in the U.S., the civilian-led Autodefensas in Mexico combat the Knights Templar cartel.
Cartel Land is produced by The Documentary Group and Our Time Projects for A&E IndieFilms. Tom Yellin of The Documentary Group served as producer, while Molly Thompson, Bob DeBitetto and David McKillop exec produced for A&E IndieFilms.
The deal was brokered by Dogwoof CEO Anna Godas, Thompson and Yellin. Dogwoof will handle all international sales across all platforms, and is to distribute the film in the UK later this year.
“This is no doubt one of the most chilling films shot about the drug wars,” said Godas in a statement. “What attracted Dogwoof to it is how it immerses the audience into the very heart of the cartels. Matt’s access is unprecedented, as well as the fascinating characters in the story and the incredible twists and turns.”
Thompson, senior VP of A&E IndieFilms, added: “We are excited to partner with Dogwoof on the distribution of Matt’s extraordinary film. After an incredible reception at Sundance, we are looking forward to being able to share this fascinating documentary with theatergoers around the world.”