Bjork's 'Drawing Restraint 9' is distrib's flagship title

MADRID — Spain’s latest art pic distributor, Bistel Films, will launch with Dana Brown’s high-profile surf docu “Step Into Liquid,” due for release Nov. 25 in around 20 screens. But the flagship title for Bistel will be the cultural event-film “Drawing Restraint 9,” from experimental artist Matthew Barney and toplining his wife, pop star Bjork.

Acquired from Paris-based Celluloid Dreams, “DR9’s” Spanish debut is skedded for April, preceded by previews at cultural forums such as museums.

“It’s a ground-breaking film that signals the kind of movies we’d like to distribute,” Bistel general manager Javier Asenjo told Daily Variety.

Barney’s wish is for the pic to be seen only in theaters, Asenjo added.

In May Bistel will release a mocking treatise on capitalism, nonfiction film “Czech Dream,” directed and written by Czechs Vit Klusak and Filip Remunda.

Founded last summer by former execs of indie distribber Karma Films, Bistel’s creation underscores a building consensus in Spain that, although film distribution is suffering, there’s still money to be made in specialty pics.

Asenjo said, “If an arthouse film works, you can recoup from theatrical alone. We’re betting on alternative, grass-roots marketing.”

Taking all rights for Spain, Bistel Films aims to handle eight to 10 pics a year.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more