Duo replace former exec prexy Zapata
MADRID — Spanish production and distribution house DeAPlaneta insists it will be aggressive business as usual, despite last week’s sudden departure of exec prexy Alvaro Zapata, and has appointed Jose Escola and Gonzalo Martin to replace him.The duo will be co-CEOs with Escola concentrating on business while Martin has the corporate end. Escola and Yolanda del Val, who will continue to head the acquisitions department, will oversee DeAPlaneta’s purchases of international pics. Escola brings considerable industry experience to his post. He was the managing director of Spanish DVD distribbery Sociedad Anonima del Video (SAV) and joined DeAPlaneta when it bought into SAV, creating SAV-DeAPlaneta Home Entertainment. Pau Calpe will continue as head of DeAPlaneta P.C., DeAPlaneta’s film production arm, and Jaume Santacana will top TV movie producer Prodigius Audiovisual, which has moved into feature film/mini series production with “Lola.” Both Calpe and Santacana report to Agusti Mezquida, DeAPlaneta director general. DeAPlaneta has hit out at suggestions that the exit of Zapata, who ambitiously expanded DeAPlaneta’s distribution and production slate, would cause the company to downscale. Relations between Zapata and DeAPlaneta deteriorated when Italo firm DeAgostini ceded control in January to its Spanish partner Planeta Corp., a publisher that diversified into kiosk-sold VHS distribution. “DeAPlaneta’s objectives and policies in acquisitions, distribution and production, remain the same,” said Del Val. “DeAPlaneta’s priority is still to figure among the top indie distributors in Spain,” she added. DeAPlaneta P.C. and Prodigius Audiovisual will produce four to six pics a year.