Company takes theatrical and DVD rights

CANNES — Paramount Pictures has picked up Spanish rights to Gaby Ibanez’s Cannes Critics’ Week player “Hierro.” In a deal closed Monday, Paramount has taken theatrical and DVD rights for Spain.

Produced by “Agora” co-producer Telecinco Cinema, as well as Madrugada and Roxbury Pics, “Hierro” is the latest in Spain’s burgeoning line of thrillers made by a new generation of Spanish producers.

Visually impressive, it toplines Elena Anaya as an anguished mom who returns to the Canary Islands of the title, where her infant son disappeared.

Wild Bunch has clocked up strong pre-sales on “Hierro,” but the Paramount deal is crucial for the film. It’s not every day that a U.S. major takes on a Spanish movie, especially a studio with a relatively new standalone operation looking to make an impact, like the Pierre Auger-managed Paramount Pictures Spain.

Horror pics “The Orphanage” and “REC” grossed huge in Spain: e25.1 million ($33.4 million) and $10.9 million respectively. Like “Orphanage,” “Hierro” is “an emotional thriller about a mother’s love for her child,” said producer Jesus de la Vega at Madrugada. Broadcaster Telecinco will put its full promotion weight behind “Hierro,” added Telecinco Cinema CEO Ghislain Barrois at Cannes. That worked, and then some, on “Orphanage,” which Telecinco also co-produced.

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