Deal reflects a growing industry heft for Diferente 3!

PARIS– Mima Fleurent’s Coli Films Diffusion has taken all French rights to Jose Luis Penafuerte’s docu feature “Los caminos de la memoria,” a striking docu feature on Spaniards’ attempts to honor the dead in the Spanish Civil War.

“Caminos” opened Paris’ burgeoning Diferente 3! Spanish Film Festival Monday.

Produced by Marion Hansel’s Man’s Film in Brussels and Jose Maria Lara’s Madrid-based Alokatu, “Caminos” records the systematic executions of tens of thousands of Republican sympathisers by the Spanish Falange during the Civil War.

Switching to the present day, it also chronicles family members’ attempts to recover the victims’ bodies.

Coli Films’ purchase comes with a theatrical commitment, Fleurent said.

Canal Plus’ movie channel bouquet CineCinema has taken French pay TV rights to Penafuerte’s docu and will commit Euros15,000 ($18,135) for “Caminos”‘ theatrical release in Gaul.

“Caminos”‘Gallic distribution deal reflects a growing industry heft for Diferente 3!, which is organized by Espagnolas en Paris, a Paris-based non-profit org whose driving force is Jose Maria Riba, the architect of San Sebastian’s Films in Progress Latin American showcase and Cannes Critics’ Week former artistic director.

Running June 14-20, Diferente 3! highlights included Paris screenings for three high-profile Spanish docu pics: “Cerca de tus ojos,” a compendium of global injustices and atrocities marking the feature directorial deb of indefatigable producer Elias Querejeta; “La perdida,” from Enrique Gabriel and Javier Angulo, which won the top prize at the 2009 Havana fest; and Jo Sol’s “Fake Orgasm,” in which Sol attempts to find common answers which cross cultural boundaries as to why three quarters of women say they’re sexually unsatisfied.

In other Diferente3! deals, CineCinema has taken Gallic pay TV rights on a further three Diferente! titles: Isaki Lacuesta’s “The Condemned” and Javier Rebollo’s “La mujer sin piano,” both San Sebastian prize winners, and Alvaro Brechner’s Austin fest winner “Bad Day to Go Fishing,” sold by Bavaria.

CineCinema has earmarked $18,014 a piece for each film’s theatrical distribution in France.

At Friday’s 1 + 1 = 3, Diferente 3!’s French film industry networking lunch for Spanish producers, director-producer Enrique Gabriel revealed he was in talks with Aleph Media and Al Tranco for the two Argentine shingles to co-produce “La Pampa,” set up at Gabriel’s Madrid-based label El Baile Films.

Another 1 + 1 = 3 project, Imval Producciones’ “We Need to Talk,” is “well advanced” with financing, Imval’s Luis Angel Ramirez said in Paris.

That reflects in part its ingenious make-up as an omnibus featue featuring shorts from six up-and-coming femme directors in Latin America, plus Spain’s Yolanda Barrasa, each turning on a couple’s problems.

“Talk” includes shorts from directors which have broken through to recent recognition such as Argentina’s Paula Hernandez (“Rain”) and Costa Rica’s Paz Fabrega, whose “Cold Water of the Sea” won a 2010 Rotterdam top Tiger award.

Other helmers – Barrasa, Mexico’s Ana Paula Castellanos, Chile’s Dominga Sotomayor, Venezuela’s Lidice Abreu – are about to shoot first features.

In Spain, “Talk” has drawn down pre-buys from broadcasters TVE and ETB, the Castille-La Mancha region and an Icaa Spanish Film Institute subsidy.

“Talk” is set up as a co-production between Imval and Mexico’s Arte Mecanica Producciones. The Mexican shingle is drawing down $906,000 in Article 226 tax coin, Ramirez added.

Further financing comes from private investors in Ecuador and Banco Santander in Mexico.

Despite the contacts and cultural proximity, Spain is increasingly not the only co-production option in Europe for Latin America. France and Germany are building their presence in Latin America.

Also, “Latin America’s industries are increasingly co-producing between themselves. Given their tax-driven financing, Colombia and Mexico are particularly interesting a co-production countries at the moment,” Ramirez said.

And France can offer Fonds Sud and Canal Plus France.

Argentine Diego Lerman’s Directors’ Fortnight player “The Invisible Eye,” which Imval co-produced, was picked up, for example, by France’s Canal Plus but not Spain’s Canal Plus.

If Spanish companies want to continue to co-produce with Latin America, they might have to reinvent themelves as not only co-producers but also bridges between the region and far stronger European film powers.

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