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Fest zooms in on TV movies

Tube event takes place in Igualada Nov. 8-12

BARCELONA — European TV movies come under the spotlight in what could be the only fest exclusively dedicated to the genre.

The ZoomIgualada European TV Movies Festival runs Nov. 8-12 in Igualada, a town an hour’s drive from Barcelona. Started in 2003 to give Spain a chance to showcase its talent, this year’s nine-pic competition includes titles from around the continent.

“The market is pretty mature in Europe, above all in France, Germany and the U.K. This festival makes clear (TV movies) are not a minor genre,” says Zoom director Jordi Comellas.

Event gets by on a micro-budget of e70,000($88,124), 60% of which comes from the Catalan Government, the province of Barcelona and the city of Igualada. The rest comes from private sponsors, including local savings bank Caixa Terrassa.

Fest’s location is in large part due to regional Catalan pubcaster TVC, which is a strong supporter of TV movies, putting $6 million of its $22.6 million annual fiction budget into the genre, says Jordi Serra, TVC head of co-productions.

This year’s confab has expanded to include a master class from Spanish helmer Vicente Aranda (“Mad Love”) on Nov. 10 in Barcelona, while helmer Jaime de Arminan will receive a lifetime achievement award.

Zoom also will host a roundtable analyzing trends in TV movie production.

Competition pics include three from Arte France: Franck Guerin’s “Un jour d’ete” (A Summer Day), which won Euro pic at the 23rd Avignon/New York Film Festival in June; Karim Dridi’s mountain-set suspenser “Gris Blanc,” and Jean-Marc Brondolo’s middle-aged crisis drama, “Aller simple.”

Elisabeth Scharang’s “Mein Morder” (My Murderer) is made by Vienna-based Wega-Film, and turns on memories of a child tortured at a Nazi-run psychiatric clinic.

Zoom will also screen two world preems in competition: Carlos Claver’s sapphic romancer “Electroshock”; and Galicia-set identity-theft thriller “Vida robada” from Vicente Monsonis (“Dripping”).

Spanish presence also includes a second fest outing after Sitges for Juan Calvo’s feel-good social issue film, “The Match,” about a factory welder’s soccer team.

Ferran Marin, communications director at production company Drimtim, which has “The Deal” bowing at Zoom, says: “TV movies function well in the U.S. Europe hasn’t reached the same level yet, which allows TV movies to be, paradoxically, more artistic and more “auteur” driven.

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