Gone are the days when Spain was virtually guaranteed a Competition slot at Berlin.
The country has only four pics in major sections. Panorama features Antonio Banderas’ second directorial outing, “Summer Rain” and “Invisibles,” a multi-part docu/fiction pic about ignored epidemics and conflicts around the world, produced by Javier Bardem.
Figuring as Berlinale Specials are Cuban Fernando Perez’s “Madrigal,” co-produced by Spain’s Wanda, and Paolo and Vittorio Taviani’s “The Lark Farm,” in which Sagrera Films has equity.
But despite a modest festival lineup presence, Spanish producers are attending en masse.
And, with smaller Spanish films in Spanish having an increasingly tough time at home and abroad, ambitious producers are moving into higher-end projects, around or above — sometimes way above — $10 million.
Some of these may generate tittle-tattle or hard-and-fast deals at Berlin:
- Kanzaman will be testing the waters for “Moses Taite’s War,” an Eastern Western set in 1875 in Kansas and India;
- Handmade/Lola screens Paz Vega starrer “Teresa,” about Saint Therese of Avila;
- Tornasol is moving Alex de la Iglesia’s “Oxford Murders,” now shooting and toplining Elijah Wood;
- Filmax has first footage of Brad Anderson’s “Trans-Siberian” with Woody Harrelson and Emily Mortimer;
- Capricorn has a finished script for “La Mula,” a Michael Radford Spanish Civil War project;
- Bavaria Films will be screening “Miguel and William,” a fictionalized account of Shakespeare meeting Miguel de Cervantes.