MADRID — Juanma Bajo Ulloa’s romantic fable “Fragil” (Fragile), Roberto Santiago’s soccer comedy “El penalti mas largo del mundo” (The Longest Penalty in the World) and Alvaro Saenz de Heredia’s comedic film noir “R2 y el caso del cadaver sin cabeza” (R2 and the Case of the Headless Corpse) have been selected for gala screenings at the 6th Lanzarote Spanish Film Screenings, which run Feb.24-26.
Moved for the first time from a late Nov./early Dec. slot to late Feb., the Lanzarote Screenings can play off superb tropical sunshine at a time when most of Europe is sunk in wintery gloom. But they also have to face up to the challenge of attracting buyers and preems a week after a strengthened Berlin film market, placing large travelling demands on top execs who have already attended Berlin, and making it more difficult to secure world market preems. “Fragil,” for example, had two market screenings at Berlin.
Around 55 acquisition execs will attend this year, down from last year, though the mini-mart boasts more sellers: 19, including a burgeoning number of Spanish producers with films at Lanzarote with no sales agent attached. Spanish sellers came to just seven in 1999.
Lanzarote has placed a special emphasis this year on attracting companies outside Europe. Companies from beyond Europe expected to be repped at Lanzarote include Brazil’s Globo TV Intl. and Estacao Cinema e Cultura, Japan’s Nikkatsu Corp. and Pony Canyon, Mexico’s Gussi, Quality Films and Televisa, and Cineplex, Fine Line, Venevision and LAP TV from the U.S..