Pic is directorial film debut of Emilio Aragon
MADRID — Hispano Fox Film has picked up Spanish theatrical and DVD rights to comedian troupe dramedy “Pajaros de papel” (Paper Birds), the directorial film debut of multifaceted Spanish showman Emilio Aragon.The Euros6 million ($9 million) pic is 75% produced by Madrid-based shingle Versatil Cinema. Antena 3 Films has a 25% participation. Written by Aragon and Argentine scribe Fernando Castets (“Son of the Bride”), “Birds” narrates the adventures of a group of dirt-poor Spanish vaudeville performers in the aftermath of Spanish Civil War. Pic toplines top Spanish TV fiction stars Imanol Arias (“Remember Me”) and Carmen Machi (“Aida”), plus Lluis Homar (“Broken Embraces”), Fernando Cayo (“The Orphanage”) and Roger Princep (“The Orphanage”). Now in post, the Spanish theatrical opening of “Birds” is scheduled for March. Fox has shown a keen eye picking up Spanish titles for local distribution, with two pics handled by the studio leading this year’s Spanish B.O. charts. Bowing Oct. 9, Alejandro Amenabar’s Roman-Egypt epic “Agora” has become Spain’s highest-grossing local film in the last two years, cuming $22.2 million and still counting; laffer “Brain Drain” took $10.3 million from its spring release. Antena 3 has taken “Birds'” free-to-air Spanish TV rights; pay TV rights went to Sogecable’s Canal Plus. A 50-year-old clown, musician, host, actor and entrepreneur, Emilio Aragon has remained for four decades front-and-center in Spain’s showbiz. His biggest hit to date was TV drama “Family Doctor,” broadcaster Telecinco best-rating drama ever. Produced by top TV production company Globomedia — where Aragon serves as a partner — “Doctor” became a milestone for Spanish TV fiction, importing U.S.-style production methods. Versatil Cinema, which has already co-produced Isabel Coixet’s “Map of the Sounds of Tokyo,” is a film production label of Spain’s film and TV giant Imagina. Imagina is owned by Barcelona-based Mediapro and Globomedia and is the controlling shareholder in broadcaster La Sexta.