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Lazona gets into bed with Serrano

Two pics from scripter-helmer to be coproduced with Telespan 2000

MADRID — Consolidating its status as one of Spain’s up-and-coming production houses, Lazonafilms has inked to co-produce the next two films directed by screenwriter-helmer David Serrano, one of Spain’s securest marquee values (“The Other Side of the Bed,” “Football Days”).

To be co-produced with Telespan 2000, Serrano’s immediate projects have yet to be firmed up totally. Two candidates are ’70s agit prop pic pastiche come musical “Trapped Down the Mine,” and 1960s-set romantic comedy “With or Without Love.”

Lazona is also advancing production on first-timer Rodrigo Cortes’ €3 million ($3.9 million) “The Contestant” and Julio Sanchez Valdes’ “At Home With a Neanderthal.”

Shooting fall 2005 and toplining Leonardo Sbaraglia, Juan Diego, Eduard Fernandez and Adriana Ozores, “Contestant,” a black comedy, turns on the comitragic fate of the biggest gameshow prize in history. Pic is co-produced with Continental Producciones.

A prehistoric spoof, “Neanderthal” is co-produced by Ensueno Films, the pic production arm of broadcaster Antena 3. Pic rolls summer 2005.

Lazona is teaming with Panico Films, the banner of director Alex de la Iglesia (“Ferpect Crime”), to produce Roman Empire sitcom “Just Before Christ.”

Having produced the legit version of “The Other Side,” Lazona is prepping “Ga-ga,” a music and dance show co-produced by El Teatro Nacional de Cataluna.

Lazona’s strategy rests on three pillars, said Lazona’s Ignacio Salazar-Simpson: director-driven pics from emerging young helmers; market-targeted films; domestic co-production with Spain’s new generation of producers.

Per Lazona’s Douglas Wilson, it also aims to expand its international activities. “We’d like to boost our production line with a third-party co-production or pick-up from abroad,” he said.

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