Exec to fire up production at On Pictures

MADRID — Francisco Ramos, one of Spain’s best-known film producers, has rejoined the Zeta Group, sealing a production and consultancy deal with the Asensio family-owned Spanish conglom.

From the early ’90s, Ramos handled film buys and production at the then-Zeta owned broadcast network Antena 3 TV.

He ankled to head up the Asensio-owned production-distribution house Aurum in 1997. Ramos launched his own shingle, Alquimia Cinema, in 2000.

The return of Ramos to Zeta marks part of an executive makeover, with former Antena 3 CEO Javier Gimeno joining as general manager of Zeta Audiovisual. Ramos reports to Gimeno, and advises Zeta’s film buff owner Antonio Asensio Jr.

The Zeta-Ramos deal gives corporate muscle to one of Spain’s most passionate producers, and aggressive distributors.

The arrangement will see Ramos firing up movie production at On Pictures, Zeta’s film division, which to date has produced most notably “Mortadelo and Filemon: Mission Save the Planet,” a high-bracket comicbook adaptation.

Ramos will put his future productions through On, save for those already committed at other companies. He will also oversee On’s distribution slate, maintaining releases at around 12 a year, he told Daily Variety.

His appointment rolls off boffo $5.6 million B.O. to date for the Ramos-produced “Lies and Fat Girls,” a sexually souped young adult movie pic, a genre Ramos pioneered in Spain.

At On, Ramos will produce “mainstream, market-driven fare”: teen/young adult movies; films based on Zeta properties, often comic books; and international English-language movies — often psychological thrillers — budgeted at around $8 million.

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