‘River’ to run through Spain

Eurocine also acquires 'Klimt'

Spanish distributor Eurocine Films has picked up Spanish and Portuguese rights to Kiwi historical drama “River Queen,” sold by U.K.-based sales agent Celsius Entertainment.

Deal was closed at the Cannes Film Market, where Eurocine also took Iberian rights from the U.K.’s Independent Film Sales on John Malkovich starrer “Klimt,” an homage to the Austrian painter by Chilean-French helmer/scribe Raul Ruiz.

Eurocine bucked the general trend of Spanish distributors at Cannes, who shopped selectively. It acquired 23 titles, mainly European productions, to feed its DVD operation in Spain.

Stepping up acquisitions, Eurocine will distribute 40 titles theatrically this year, some 50 in DVD rental and nearly 160 in DVD sell-through, Eurocine prexy Francisco Giro said.

“We’re looking for increasingly high-profile product. Spain bows 12 to 16 films every weekend. Exhibitors reserve their best screens for titles that have had good international runs,” said Giro.

Earlier this year, Eurocine bought the Susan Sarandon-Sam Neill thriller “Irresistible” from Blighty sales agent Intandem Films; thriller “Little Trip to Heaven,” starring Forest Whitaker, from Katapult Film Sales; and Kevin Spacey’s Bobby Darin biopic “Beyond the Sea” from Lakeshore.

Its second-half release slate includes Brian Jones biopic “Stoned”; Paul Tickell’s art-theft thriller “Tempesta”; “Pledge This!” starring Paris Hilton; Robert Carlyle dance drama “Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing & Charm School”; and Cuba Gooding Jr. drama “Shadowboxer.”

After near 30 years in distribution, Giro has debuted as a helmer with youth horror pic “La Central,” to be released in Spain next month. In August, he starts drama “Mis primeros deseos,” to be shot on Catalonia’s Costa Brava.

Both pics are produced by Eurocine.

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