Col TriStar favors Hayek’s ‘Gran Vida’

Spanish film is remarkable pre-buy

MADRID — The Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group has acquired worldwide rights outside Spain and France to the Spanish-lingo comedy “La gran vida,” Salma Hayek’s first film made in Spain.

Deal follows talks that had reached advanced negotiations by the time of the Cannes Intl. Film Festival last May.

Move reps the first time in memory that a Hollywood studio has picked up worldwide rights to a Spanish pic as a pre-buy.

French broadcaster M6 has taken all French rights. Col TriStar will distribute the film theatrically in Spain; preem is skedded for Oct. 8.

A high-life comedy budgeted at $4.3 million, “La gran vida” marks the bigscreen debut of Spanish TV director Antonio Cuadri. It is produced by BesoBeso Producciones, a 100% subsid of Benitez’s Boca Group, in co-production with Telecinco.

Madrid-set pic concerns a man on the brink of suicide (Spanish actor Carmelo Gomez) who borrows $1 million to blow on a final bout of merrymaking. Having spent the money, he falls for a Mexican waitress (Hayek) and finds he has something to live for. Trouble is, he will now have to deal with the loan sharks.

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