RTVE invests in local pix

Co. secures rights to latest pics by Almodovar, Amenabar

VALLADOLID, Spain — Spanish pubcaster Radio Television Espanola (RTVE) will invest E36 million ($42.4 million) in Spanish cinema and co-productions this year to cut its dependence on U.S. fare.

This year it has secured the rights to 49 films, including fare from Spain’s biggest guns like Pedro Almodovar’s fatalist thriller “Bad Education,” “The Others” director Alejandro Amenabar’s “Mar adentro” and Alex de Iglesia’s “Ferpect Crime.”

Government-backed RTVE’s flag-waving is timed to help a film industry in crisis and lure voters with elections pending.

With local producers up in arms over poor state and TV support, RTVE has cut the amount it spends on terrestrial rights to U.S. films from $101.2 million in 2002 to $48.2 million this year.

“Inside two or three years, we can air the new Spanish films and ax American cinema,” RTVE director Juan Menor said at the Valladolid Intl. Film Festival.

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