Vertice 360’s Blanco exits post

Exec leaves gig as head of film for company

MADRID — Adolfo Blanco, one of Spain’s best-known distribution execs, has ankled as head of film at Vertice 360, the Spanish production-distribution conglom.

A vet distribution topper at Filmax, DeAPlaneta and Notro Films, which he founded and folded into Vertice via a share swap in February 2007, Blanco’s departure underscores the dire state of indie distribution in Spain.

Hit more by online piracy than recession, total box office admissions in Spain plunged 8% to 107.8 million in 2008.

Total DVD consumer spending nose-dived 12% to 504 million euros ($649.7 million), vs. Britain’s $4.2 billion and France’s $1.9 billion.

Vertice has continued producing films: Uruguayan Alvaro Brechner’s “Bad Day to Go Fishing” is in advanced post-production.

But, once one of Spain’s most aggressive distributors, buying Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island” and Jacques Perrin’s “Oceans,” Vertice has not acquired a new film for theatrical release since May. Blanco had reportedly pushed for new buys, which the Vertice board turned down.

Credit-crunched company Vertice has struggled to discount TV contracts with Spanish banks — a large problem when its movie sales to Spanish TV operators were worth $23.2 million in 2008.

It had seemed however, to have gained some breathing space in November through capital increases worth $11.1 million, financed by new shareholder Thesan Capital.

Announcing his departure by email Friday night, Blanco said he’d weigh his options before deciding on new professional ventures.

(Emiliano de Pablos contributed to this report.)

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