Telefonica subsid gets pay-TV rights, first peek at pics

MADRID — Telefonica-controlled Via Digital platform has signed a first option on all new pics of top Spanish production house Tornasol Films over the next two years.

Via has also acquired Spanish pay TV rights to Tornasol’s next 12 productions or co-productions, including Ken Loach’s “Bread and Roses,” Mariano Barroso’s “Casbah” and Cuban Juan Carlos Tabio’s “Waiting List.”

Headed by producer-director Gerardo Herrero, Tornasol is a prolific co-producer of upscale Latin American pics, such as Arturo Ripstein’s Cannes competition player “Nobody Writes to the Colonel.”

Telefonica announced an interest in strengthening its Latin American media interests in May; once that happened, an association between Telefonica and Tornasol was always in the cards. The question now is whether the current deal will lead in time to Telefonica’s taking an equity stake in Tornasol.

Herrero was unavailable for comment.

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