Sogecine at 10: Executive Roundtable

Fernando Bovaira, G.M.; head of film production/distribution, Sogecable

The new broom at Sogecine since 1996, Bovaira is one of the smart, sassy-minded young execs broken in by the launch of private TV in 1990 — in his case at startup Canal Plus Espana. He’s the only member of his generation to hold an exec position at a U.S. company, as veep of international distribution at Arnon Milchan’s New Regency Prods. from 1994-96. Unflappable and unpretentious — Bovaira and ties don’t mix — he has cojones. Few execs would have bet on $16 million English-lingo pic “The Others,” from a 28-year-old Spanish helmer (Alejandro Amenabar). Bovaira did. The rest looks like history.

Gustavo Ferrada, exec producer

Ferrada studied TV and film at Syracuse U. “to find out why the U.S. sold films all over the world,” he says. He joined Sogecine in 1996 as head of production, aiding its move from pic co-financing into direct portfolio production. Ferrrada, who has producer credits on late-’90s hits “Nobody Knows Anybody” and “P. Tinto’s Miracle,” is prepping “Box 507” and “Noche de Reyes.” He’s a fan of creative production, post-production sound and oranges– a real gent.

Enrique Lopez Lavigne, exec producer

At Sogetel from near the beginning, Lopez Lavigne returned in early 1996 to put through a local revolution: sustained script development. “It was hard. I was only 27. It was usually much easier with people my own age,” he recalls. In 1998 he graduated to full producer status, first on Julio Medem’s “Lovers of the Arctic Circle.” He will exec produce “Mortadelo y Filemon.”

He’s affable, a music freak and a self-confessed spaghetti Western brat.

Francisco Sanchez-Ortiz, head of marketing

Sogecine’s artier pics, such as Julio Medem’s, face a tall order: crossing over from niche to mainstream young auds. But Sanchez looks up to the task. A U.S. high school student in Oregon, he had high hopes of playing basketball until a back strain rerouted him into N.Y. advertising. The key image for “Lucia” — actress Paz Vega on a moped but not quite in her red dress — went through 100 versions. It is now one of the best tourist sights in Madrid. And “Lucia,” a sensual mind-teaser, looks set for $3 million in Spain.

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