Telco giant Telefonica takes equity position

BARCELONA — Spain’s Telecinco Cinema will co-produce and take Spanish free-to-air rights to 3D adventure tooner “Tad, the Lost Explorer,” helmed by first-timer Enrique Gato.

Paris-based StudioCanal is handling international sales.

Beyond Telecinco Cinema, the film production arm of Spain’s commercial broadcaster Telecinco, “Tad” is also produced by Jordi Gasull’s El Toro Producciones, Edmon Roch’s Ikiru Films, and Gato and Nicolas Matji’s Lightbox Ent.

Budget is around Euros 10 million ($15 million), making “Tad” one of the most ambitious productions in financial terms coming out of Spain this year.

Underscoring El Toro and Ikiru’s knack at tying down new financing sources, “Tad” also marks the first pic to receive equity investment through Telefonica Producciones, a new division, launched November, of Spanish giant telco Telefonica’s corporate content unit. Prior Telefonica investments have been put through tax vehicles.

A parody, “Tad” accounts “the adventures of an ordinary man who wants to become a big adventure hero. We describe his transformation,” said Gato.

Script is co-penned by Javier Barreira, Gorka Magallon, Neil Landau and Jordi Gasull.

Gato initially developed animation for vidgames and directed Spanish toon “Tadeo Jones and the Basement of Doom” — which won animation short at Spain’s 2008 Academy Awards, among many other kudos.

“Tad” is skedded for delivery first half 2012.

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