Producer adds four films for 2009, 2010
MADRID — Bucking widespread slate and budget downsizing on Spanish films, Luis de Val Jr.’s Media Films is upping the ante on production, announcing four films for 2009-10.Joaquin Oristrell, a popular Spanish director-screenwriter, will pen and helm “Ados,” a Euros4 million ($5.25 million) comedy about a rich teen, a nerd and an “emo” left to fend for themselves one summer. Pic starts principal photography this summer, as does “Heroes,” a $4.6 million contempo “ ‘Stand By Me’ meets the ‘Goonies,’ ” in De Val’s words. The summer-set coming-of-ager, set on the Mediterranean coast, is told in flash-back. Also, Media has optioned the rights, previously held by Penelope Cruz, to “Pasion India,” the tale of Anita Delgado, a Spanish dancer who married the Maharaja of Kapurthala in 1908. In development, the $26 million “India” would ordinarily need a Spanish actress of international stature, De Val said, but added that he had not approached Cruz to play the part. “Vicky Sherpa,” the $6.6 million bio of Victoria Subirana, who’s spent 20 years setting up schools in Nepal, is in development as well. Based in Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, Media is owned by the De Val family. Luis de Val Sr. runs indie distributor Wide Pics. Despite a tough piracy-ravaged Spanish market, Media can roll off family finance, and sometimes muscular state subsidies from the Catalan regional government.