Small screen’s big ambitions in Spain

Success of 'No te Fallare' underscores direction

MADRID — Nearly 600,000 Spanish viewers have seen the future. And it’s pretty boffo.

Bowing March 2, the raunchy youth actioner “No te Fallare” (I Won’t Let You Down) has become the highest-grossing Spanish pic this year with Pta404 million ($2.27 million) in 17 days.

It also reps a new trend in Spanish pic production: the TV-driven Spanish movie.

It had to happen. Spain’s latest version of the European Union Television Without Frontiers directive obliges Spanish broadcasters to commit 5% of their yearly revenues to the financing of European films and TV movies.

In the case of the Telefonica Media-controlled Antena 3, that means an obligatory annual pic production budget of $29 million.

New direction

“No te Fallare” marks the first project of A3’s production house Ensueno Films and a different take on filmmaking.

Ensueno teamed with a TV producer, the market-savvy Arbol Group, rather than an established pic producer.

Arbol’s first pic, “Fallare” is also one of Spain’s first TV spinoffs: a harder-boiled update of primetime teen drama “Companeros” (Companions), which plunges its former school chums into a narco meller.

And while the Spanish film industry is arguing for stronger exhibition quotas for local pics, “Fallare” demonstrates the virtues of a no-holds-barred promotion, mostly of the trailer on A3 itself.

Ensueno is said to have five projects in the pipeline. Some may well exploit A3 properties; all no doubt will be promoted to the hilt.

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