Jaleo to adapt ‘Lemons’

Book documents move to Andalucia

SEVILLE, Spain — Andalusian production house Jaleo Films has bought bigscreen adaptation rights to “Driving Over Lemons,” the bestselling autobiography penned by former Genesis drummer Chris Stewart.

“Driving” narrates how Brit Stewart and his family settle into life in a farmhouse in the stunning mountains of Las Alpujarras.

Project is planned as a Spain-U.K. co-production, open to a third European country such as Germany or Holland. Helmer, screenwriters and key cast could come from the U.K., Jaleo’s founder, producer Alvaro Alonso, told Daily Variety.

“We want to stress the point of view of a foreigner, an Englishman, confronted by another culture, with all that that implies,” Alonso said.

With an budget of Euros 4.5 million ($6.5 million), the English-language shoot in Las Alpujarras is scheduled for spring 2009.

Jaleo inked worldwide film rights on “Driving Over Lemons” from the Cordoba-based publishing house Almuzara.

Negotiators left opened the possibility of other feature films or TV series based on “Lemons” book sequels, Stewart’s “A Parrot in the Pepper Tree” and “The Almond Blossom Society.”

Launched in 2000, Seville-based Jaleo Films has two lines in film production: international co-productions and low-budget titles from new Spanish directors.

Jaleo is teaming with Norway’s Helgeland Films and Germany’s Tradewinds to co-produce the $5.6 million coming-of-age tale “The Orange Girl,” to be directed by Norwegian helmer Eva Dahr (“Mars & Venus”) next spring in Seville and Norway.

It is also prepping “Lovin’s Sherley,” the next project of helmer-screenwriter Chiqui Carabante (“Carlos Against the World”), an English language thriller co-written by Michel Gaztambide (“Box 507”). Pic is structured as an Ireland-U.K.-Spain co-production to be filmed in Glasgow and Dublin.

Jaleo’s latest completed pic, Spaniard Jesus Ponce’s social comedy “Dejate caer,” world premiered Nov. 3 at the Seville Film Festival.

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