San Sebastian unveils projects

'Captured,' 'Rebajas' shine at co-prod'n event

SAN SEBASTIAN — Cannes 2009 best director winner Brillante Mendoza’s “Captured” and Spanish shingle Salto de Eje’s social comedy “Unas rebajas sin igual” were among standouts at the 5th San Sebastian CRC Co-production meeting.

Both pics formed part of an often enticing lineup of projects and productions unveiled Tuesday at the forum, organized by Ile-de-France and Madrid Film Commissions.

Isabelle Huppert is attached to star in “Captured,” slated to roll January 2011.

Pic will be produced by Didier Costet’s Paris-based production-distribution house Swift Prods. and, in a prestigious seal of approval, Arte Cinema.

Philippines-set “Captured” turns on the hostage-taking of a group of foreign nationals by the Abu Sayyaf group of Muslim extremists — seen through the eyes of a French mission volunteer (Huppert).

Salto de Eje’s “Rebajas” is set to shoot in Barcelona and Lisbon from May, directed by Miguel Angel Calvo Buttini. It turns on a thirty-something Spanish-Portuguese couple who dedicate most of their salary to pay for their dream home.

Project is budgeted at $3.3 million and partners involved include Agusti Mezquida’s Barcelona-based Prodigius Films and Portugal’s producer Fernando Centeio. Salto is looking for a French financial partner to take a 10% stake in the project.

Other producers from France and Spain brought projects involving top talent from both countries and beyond.

These included Fred Poulet’s “Hollywood, Baby,” produced by Trompe Le Monde and co-scripted by “Mammuth” directors Benoit Delepine and Gustave de Kervern; and Fabrice Camoin’s Spain-set “Summer Night’s Storm,” with a strong cast — Nicole Garcia, Olivier Gourmet, Aure Atika and Samir Guesmi — and production by Les Films du Poisson, which had both “On Tour” and “The Tree” at Cannes this year.

Among Spanish highlights also were Elamedia’s drama “10,000 Nights in Nowhere,” directed and penned by Spanish Ramon Salazar (“Stones”), and located in Paris, Madrid and Berlin.

Now shooting, pic tells the story of a son who decides to abandon his grey life. Spanish thesps Andres Gertrudix, Lola Duenas, Carmen Maura and Najwa Nimri topline.

English-language $3.3 million drama “Looking for Eimish,” helmed and produced by first-timer Ana Rodriguez at Jana Films was another meeting standout. Project has just received $650,000 in grants from

Spain’s Icaa film institute for a movie from a new director.

“In times of crisis, film producers define their objectives better. That’s the most important thing. The goal is to have those projects, which are really strong co-production bets,” said Olivier-Rene Veillon, IDFFC general manager, and MFC manager Manuel Soria concurred.

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