Sogetel inks indies

Colomo, Garcillan, Cuerda in on film deal

MADRID – Sogetel, the largest film production house in the Spanish-speaking world, has inked co-financing pacts with three hot Spanish indie producers: Fernando Colomo, Fernando de Garcillan and Jose Luis Cuerda.

The deals signal Sogetel’s aim under its new CEO, Fernando Bovaira, to broaden its current co-production arrangements, cherry-picking the lion’s share of the indie production talent in Spain.

The Madrid-based Sogetel is owned by the giant film and TV holding Sogecable, a joint venture of Spanish conglom PRISA and Canal Plus France, which will bow Spain’s first digital platform Jan. 31. Sogetel currently puts up majority co-financing on all films produced by three indie outfits: CPA, Bocaboca Producciones and Andres Vicente Gomez’s prolific Lola Films. This last co-financing deal is now on hold. The Sogetel/Bocaboca co-production, ”Love Seriously Damages Your Health” (El amor perjudica seriamente la salud) has just stormed the Spanish box office, taking $1.7 million in its first 10 days.

Cuerda has signed to produce three films for Sogetel, Colomo one movie, and Garcillan will produce at least one feature a year for Sogetel from his new banner, Bailando en la Luna.

Bankrolled by Sogecable’s distribution arm Sogepaq, in 1996 Cuerda produced ”Tesis,” the acclaimed feature film debut by Alejandro Amenabar; Colomo scored locally, producing the Spanish young-hipsters pic ”More Than Love, Frenzy” (”Mas que amor, frenesi”); and Garcillan, while working with Sogetel, produced all of the films by Julio Medem, the leading young Spanish helmer, from his debut ”Cows” (”Vacas”) in 1991 to his 1996 Cannes competition player ”Earth” (”Tierra”). Garcillan will now produce the next films by Medem and Isabel Coixet, whose second pic, ”Things I Never Told You,” had a generally positive reception at Berlin last year.

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