TLA takes ‘Crime,’ ‘Bed’

Roundtable welcomes film law

MADRID — U.S.-U.K. specialty distrib TLA Releasing has closed U.K. home entertainment and TV rights to two titles sold by Spain’s Sogepaq: Alex de la Iglesia’s hit comedy “Crimen Ferpecto” (Ferpect Crime) and Emilio Martinez Lazaro’s sex musical “Los dos lados de la cama” (The Two Sides of the Bed).

Films will be released late 2007 or early 2008.

A darkly-humored marriage farce produced by Sogepaq sister company Sogecine, as well as Panico Films and Italy’s Planet Pictures, “Crime” stars popular Spanish player Guillermo Toledo as a husband obsessed with dispatching his gruesome wife.

“Bed” is a ribald Sapphic farce, peppered with new versions of Spanish pop classics, in which two buddies’ g.f.s dump them, and, to the guys’ chagrin, start a lesbian affair.

Deals continue TLA’s strong relations with Spanish filmmaking, especially on edgier or gay pics. TLA released both “20 Centimeters,” sourced from Sogepaq, and “Bear Cub” theatrically in the U.S.

” ’20 Centimeters’ was probably the most successful festival hit we’ve ever had,” said Richard Wolff, TLA director of acquisitions.

TLA is actively looking to service the DVD distribution of Spanish films in the U.S., he added.

Wolff announced the deals at the 2nd Madrid de Cine-Spanish Film Screenings, Spain’s biggest dedicated mini-mart for Spanish films, which kicked off Sunday.

As producers and sales agents were advancing deals Monday, or unveiling licensing accords closed at or after Cannes, proceedings were dominated by a largely upbeat analysis of Spain’s in-the-works film law at a round table organized by the Fapae producers association, “The New Film Law: A New Panorama Opens for Spanish Cinema?”

Panelists’ answers suggested a qualified yes.

Panel chair Fabia Buenaventura highlighted some of the changes for the better.

The draft law, which looks set to be fast-tracked through parliament this year, extends 18% tax deductions to financial investors through 2011.

The deductions are levied on taxable income, not tax payment: in other words, an investor whose taxable income is $100 and tax rate 30%, can deduct $18 against film investment — 60% of his tax bill, Buenaventura said.

Currently reserved for feature and animated films and docu-pics, state subsidies will now be extended to include animated series and TV movies.

The law still has to pass parliament.

“There has been no public opposition to the law expressed to date by any political party,” Buenaventura added.

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