The Cuban zombie comedy Juan of the Dead played at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival and now it has been picked up for a North American release by Focus Features’ new digital distribution arm, Focus World. The eponymous character is 40-year-old slacker who makes zombie lemonade out of zombie lemons when a zombie outbreak hits Cuba and he’s able to make some scratch by slaying families’ fresh undead. Some critics have seen it as a political allegory, but director Alejandro Brugues says its commentary on Cuba is how its citizens manage to find a way to deal with poverty.
According to Variety, Focus World plans to release premieres titles across video-on-demand and electronic sell-thru platforms, including cable/satellite providers, iTunes, Xbox 360, Playstation and YouTube. However, Juan won’t go directly to digital distribution. The movie will play U.S. festivals, and begin a theatrical run in April from a separate distributor. I’ve heard it’s a fun, interesting flick, and I look forward to see it in the near future.