Spain’s Xpand to distribute 3-D pics

Move follows launch in Slovenia

MADRID — Digital 3-D system company Xpand has teamed with Barcelona-based firm Vercine to launch a new film distribution operation in Spain from September.

The still-unnamed distrib aims to handle four to five 3-D film titles a year in the burgeoning Spanish 3-D theatrical market. For Xpand this will be its second move into film distribution, having entered Central Europe’s Slovenia earlier this year.

“We want to demonstrate our commitment to the development of 3-D technology,” said Xpand CEO Maria Costeira.

Xpand is the brand name of European company X6D, which last year acquired Oregon-based stereoscopic manufacturing company NuVision Technologies.

With offices in California, Slovenia and Israel, Xpand was the official 3-D digital system provider at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. The Xpand technology is used on more than 800 3-D screens worldwide.

As a distributor in Spain, Xpand will offer 3-D pics in the three competing 3-D formats — RealD, Dolby 3-D and XpanD.

Ignacio Puebla’s consulting firm Vercine will work with Xpand in the daily management of the new distrib, selecting new products and defining the business strategy and marketing for each film launch.

First two titles to be released in 2009 by Xpand in Spain are animated pics: “Garfield’s Pet Force 3-D,” taken from U.K.’s sales agent Velvet Octopus, and “Battle for Terra 3-D,” sold by L.A-based IM Global.

Other upcoming 3-D pic bows include “Around the World in 50 Years,” acquired from StudioCanal, and made by European 3-D film pioneer nWave Pictures.

“A key challenge for 3-D indie film distributors is accessing product — above all live-action pics, which mainly are in the hands of big studios,” said Puebla.

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