'Dias de cine' kicks off pic pact

MADRID — Spanish broadcaster Telecinco has inked a three-year, three-to-six pic co-production pact with Tomas Cimadevilla’s Telespan 2000, one of the country’s most successful film production houses.

The agreement kicks off with comedy “Dias de cine,” helmed by screen-writer-director David Serrano (“Soccer Days”) and produced by Telecinco, Telespan 2000 and Lazona Films.

“Dias de cine,” now shooting, is set in Spain in the 1970s and turns on a acclaimed anti-Franco theater director, who attempts to helm a pic with a social conscience, in the style of Her-bert J. Biberman’s “Salt of the Earth,” despite having to employ a old has-been songstress.

Deal reups a fruitful five pic co-prod deal between Telespan and the Media-set-controlled web Telecinco, producer of the $28 million Viggo Mortensen starrer “Alatriste,” which included mainstream contempo comedies hits such as “El otro lado de la cama” (which scored a box office gross of $15 million), its sequel “Los dos lados de la cama” ($9.3 million gross) and soccer team story “Soccer Days” ($14.6 million gross). “El otro lado” was a Stateside release from the Sundance Channel.

The first Telespan-Telecinco slate produced two other U.S. pickups: porn industry comedy “Torremolinos 73,” acquired by Gotham’s First Run Fea-tures, and Madrid music-scene comedy “El Calentito,” licensed by Sogepaq Intl. to Philadelphia-based distributor TLA Releasing at Berlin’s EFM this month.

“With Telespan we’ve produced some of the most successful recent Spanish films. Telespan’s productions rep the line of product that interests Telecinco,” said Alvaro Augustin, Telecinco’s head of Spanish and European cinema.

Per Augustin, the deal has no limits in film genre, nor budget and some pics will be made by first-timers.

Telecinco takes free-to-air rights and up to 50% of budget on the new slate’s titles. All pic will air Telecinco prime-time.

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