Santa Monica, CA–(PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE)–February 1, 2008 — Building on a solid reputation as a leader in the Spanish-language DVD market, Xenon Pictures, in association with Lionsgate Home Entertainment, announced today the January 29th release of the worldwide hit telenovela MARIA LA DEL BARRIO on DVD. Though it was the final novela in Thalia’s legendary “Maria Trilogy”, which also included “Maria Mercedes” and “Marimar”, it is the first to ever appear on DVD. This TVyNovelas “Telenovela of the Year” award-winner cemented the acting career of Mexican diva Thalia, and was the first starring vehicle for the celebrated Fernando Colunga, the only actor to have ever starred in five successive hit telenovelas. MARIA LA DEL BARRIO also stars veteran actress Iran Eory and the beautiful Itati Cantoral, whose excellent portrayal of the evil Soraya earned her the 1996 TVyNovelas award for Best Villain.
Filmed in Las Lomas de Chapultepec in Mexico City, MARIA LA DEL BARRIO was written by Ines Rodena (“Marimar”, “Marisol”) and directed by Beatriz Sheridan (“La Intrusa”, “La Usurpadora”).
Originally airing in primetime in 1996, MARIA LA DEL BARRIO broke ratings records in the both US and around the world, becoming one of the most popular telenovelas in history, seen in more than 120 countries. Its international success was evident when lead actress Thalia visited the Philippines in 1996; the media frenzy was surpassed only by Pope John Paul II’s visit to the country the previous year.
The 3-disc DVD set, with more than 12 hours of content, is in Spanish with English subtitles. MARIA LA DEL BARRIO will be available at all major retail and online stores, with a suggested retail price of $24.98. (High resolution cover attached).
Maria Hernandez (Thalia) is a poor but beautiful 15-year-old girl, who must scavenge food to support herself and her elderly godmother. When her godmother dies, she goes to live with the wealthy Don Fernando de la Vega (Ricardo Blume), even though she is resented by his new wife, Victoria (Eory), and her niece, Soraya (Cantoral).
Maria soon falls in love with the handsome but drunken son of the house, Luis Fernando (Colunga), arousing the jealousy of Soraya. He falls in love with her as well and asks her to marry him, but their happiness is cut short when a misunderstanding tears the couple apart, and Maria, insane with grief, gives up their child for adoption. Though Luis Fernando returns and they adopt a child together, she never loses hope of finding her lost son. As though that weren’t enough, she still must contend with the obsessed Soraya, who believes Maria “stole” Luis Fernando from her.
MARIA LA DEL BARRIO
Street Date: January 29th, 2008
Running Time: approx. 700 minutes
Xenon Pictures and Lionsgate Home Entertainment
NOTE TO EDITORS: A high-resolution image is available at: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080201/LAF056