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Sundance 2013: Mundial picks up 'Who Is Dayani Cristal?'

January 21, 2013|By Chris Lee
  • A scene from the film "Who is Dayani Cristal?," which was included in the world cinema documentary competition at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.
A scene from the film "Who is Dayani Cristal?," which was included… (Mark Silver )

PARK CITY, Utah – “Who Is Dayani Cristal?,” the world cinema documentary entry presented as Sundance’s opening screening this year, has been acquired by the international distribution start-up Mundial.

Produced and starring Mexican heartthrob Gael Garcia Bernal, the film is a stylish exercise in forensic sleuthing. Police find the decomposing body of an unidentified Latino man in the Arizona desert bearing the words “Dayani Cristal” tattooed across his chest and the struggle begins to piece together his identity in an effort to send the man’s remains home. The documentary shows Garcia Bernal retracing Dayani Cristal’s steps – his fatal trip north from Honduras, riding the top of trains, fording rivers and braving kidnappers – putting a human face on illegal immigration in the process.

Mundial is a new joint venture by the Hollywood firm IM Global and the Latin American distribution giant Canana.

SUNDANCE: Full coverage

“Who Is Dayani Cristal?” arrives as the sixth doc to be picked up at the festival this year after the sale of fellow world cinema documentary entry “The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear” to Icarus Films, “Dirty Wars” and “The Summit” going to Sundance Selects, “The History of the Eagles Part I,” acquired by Showtime and “Twenty Feet From Stardom,” which went to Radius.

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chris.lee@latimes.com

Twitter: @__chrislee

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