DeAplaneta forms feature, TV units

Spanish-Italo firm eyes Alta Films

MADRID — Teaming Italy’s De Agostini and Spain’s Planeta Group, cash-rich new combo DeAPlaneta has created movie production house Grunger and TV movie outfit Prodigius, a joint venture with Spain’s MediaPro.

Prodigius and Grunger are DeAPlaneta’s first concrete moves in Spain to be announced by DeAPlaneta prexy Maurizio Carlotti.

DeAPlaneta, which has €60 million ($57.1 million) in capital, has recently been in talks with Alta Films to take a stake in Spain’s biggest art pic distributor and exhibitor. DeAPlaneta’s ultimate aim is to create an integrated, high-quality content distribution, production and exhibition group.

“We’ll start in Spain and Portugal, then Italy and then Latin America,” Carlotti said Tuesday. “The Spanish language is Spain’s most powerful (production) weapon,” he added.

Grunger will produce four to five features a year, budgeted at $1.9 to $2.9 million and largely aimed at the domestic market. “In special circumstances we may enter international projects too,” said Paul Calpe, former Esicma CEO and new head of Grunger.

Co-produced with Esicma, Grunger’s first feature project will be “Las voces de la noche,” a story of star-crossed love under Franco’s dictatorship helmed by Salvador Garcia Ruiz’s (“Mensaka,” “The Other Side”).

Prodigius has some 15 TV movies in development. Agusti Mezquida will serve as DeAPlaneta managing director, Adolfo Blanco as director of distribution.

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