New projects from Lacuesta Zannou presented at Catalan Screenings

BARCELONA — San Sebastian standout “Black Bread” and Rome fest winner “I Want to Be a Soldier” both feature at the Catalan Screenings in Paris.

Organized by Catalan Films and TV, the screenings run Nov. 18-19 at the Club Marbeuf, just off the Champs Elysees.

The showcase encompasses higher-bracket arthouse, mainstream fare, genre, docus and docu-style fiction features.

The styles can mix to good measure: Agusti Villaronga’s “Bread,” a plush period piece, marks a big move toward the mainstream for the director, but still retains an auteurist edge.

A bleak, rural rites-of-passage tale set in post-Civil War Spain, “Bread” was a critical fave at San Sebastian, winning the best actress prize for Nora Navas.

Bowing Oct. 15 in Spain, the drama has racked up a creditable Euros639,989 ($890,666) off just 57 copies. Beta Films’ Dirk Schuerhoff will present “Bread” in Paris.

Christian Molina’s youth violence drama “Soldier,” featuring Danny Glover and Robert Englund, is repped for international by L.A.-based Epic Pics. It won the Rome Fest Alice in the City Award. Pic is written by Cuca Canals, a frequent collaborator with helmer Bigas Luna.

Recent deals at the screenings include Paris-based Cat & Docs’ acquisition of worldwide rights outside Spain to docu feature “Bicycle, Spoon, Apple.” Pic was directed by Carles Bosch, Oscar nommed in 2002 for “Rafters.”

Turning on former Barcelona mayor Pasqual Maragall’s battle with Alzheimer’s Disease, “Bicycle” world preemed to enthusiastic response at San Sebastian. It will screen November at the Docs for Sale mart at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. “Bicycle” will have 90-minute and 52-minute international versions, said Cat & Docs’ Maelle Guenegues.

Other pics at the screenings included “Yellow,” a father-son directorial debut from cinematographer Xavi Gimenez (“Agora”), repped by Filmax Intl., and “Heroes,” which has grossed $493,702 to date in Spain. “Heroes,” a “Stand By Me”-style drama, was currying distribution interest from Italy and Brazil at October’s Sitges fest.

Among upcoming projects being presented in Paris, distributor-producer Antoni Badimon will talk up a teaser for “Elsinor Park” a contempo “Hamlet” reboot; producer Ben Arraou will present “The Door of No Return,” the second pic from Goya first-time director winner Santiago Zannou (“The One-Handed Trick”); and producer Luisa Matienzo will unveil a 10-minute teaser from the “Double Steps,” the latest film by Isaki Lacuesta (“The Damned”).

It’s the kind of left-of-field cinema in which Catalan filmmaking excels: a strikingly shot, Africa-set docu-style fiction drama that repeatedly slips into genre. “‘Steps’ starts off as a film about soldiers, becomes a vampire pic, then a Spaghetti Western,” Lacuesta told Variety.

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