U’s Espana commits to ‘Amor’

Scribe nabs screenplay prize at San Sebastian

SAN SEBASTIAN — Marking the entry of another U.S. studio into pic production in Spain, Universal Studios Networks Espana has committed 1 million euros ($976,000) to co-finance “Amor en defensa propia,” Spaniard Rafa Russo’s character-driven tale of love between two losers.

Pic will be produced by Spanish prodco Esicma.

Russo, a screenwriter (“The Man With Rain in His Shoes”) and medium-feature director, has won the first Premio Studio Universal screenplay prize organized by Universal Studios Networks Espana and Esicma.

The prize was announced at the San Sebastian Intl. Film Festival Thursday at one of the fest’s biggest parties. Russo’s screenplay was chosen from 500 projects.

BVI Spain is producing or distribbing four to six Spanish pics a year. Columbia Films Prods. Spain aims to go into production on its first Spanish film in the second half of 2003. Warner Bros. has also announced plans to produce in the territory.

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