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Filmanova’s fund swells

Spanish fund takes on new shareholders

MADRID — Filmanova Invest, a pioneering Spanish film investment fund, hasboosted its capital to E5.1 million ($6.1 million) via the entry of six new shareholders, including Tomas Cimadevilla’s leading Spanish prodco Telespan 2000.

Launched November 2003 by Spanish prodco Filmanova, savings bank Caixanova and investment fund Galaban 21, Filmanova Invest’s capital is small-fry when compared to Germany’s tax-driven funds. But it still reps a pioneering move by private sector finance to invest in Spanish movie-making: Most Spanish banks fight shy of film financing, demanding that production houses come up with collateral to guarantee loans.

If Spain’s new socialist government ever raises film tax breaks above their current insignificant rate of 5%, Filmanova Invest could rep a natural conduit for tax-driven investment in the film industry.

Per Filmanova Invest prexy Anton Reixa, the company is also interested in investing in European productions with or without Spanish involvement, putting up completion finance, and aiming to invest some $21 million to $24 million over the next three-to-four years. Gap finance will normally range from 5% to 30% of a pic’s budget, Cimadevilla added.

Most significant investment to date has been aid in cash-flowing Alejandro Amenabar’s Javier-Bardem starrer “Mar adentro” (Out To Sea).

With its founding partners all hailing from the northern Spanish province of Galicia, some of the investment funds pics naturally turn on locally-set themes such as “Tres en el camino” (Within the Way Without), a docu feature co-production between prodco Filmanova and the U.K.’s Seven Saints, following three contempo pilgrims on their way to Santiago.

“We’re interested in projects where, apart from pure finance, we can bring Spanish or Galician talent, crews or services to the table,” said Reixa.

Filmanova Invest is also backing Latin American co-prods, such as Jorge Gaggero’s “Cama adentro” (Beba’s Live-In), an Argen-tine co-prod, toplining Norma Aleandro (“The Son of the Bride”) as a hoity-toity woman struggling to keep up appearance in recession-wracked Argentina.

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