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‘Melancholia’ leads Golem buying spree

Spanish arthouse distributor inks eight pics at EFM

MADRID — Spanish arthouse distributor Golem Distribucion inked a flurry of deals at Berlin’s European Film Market, led by Lars von Trier’s upcoming “Melancholia.”

“Melancholia,” which could be ready for delivery for Cannes, continues Golem’s close relationship with von Trier’s films, which kicked off in 1996 with the distribution of “Breaking the Waves” in Spain.

“We try to get involved early on with films helmed by our established directors,” said Golem general manager Josetxo Moreno.

Golem also signed with TrustNordisk, “Melancholia”s sales agent, on Spanish rights to Anne Sewitsky’s Norwegian comedy “Happy, Happy,” winner of a World Cinema grand jury prize at January’s Sundance fest.

The Berlinale Competition is a traditional fishing ground for the Pamplona-based Golem, which took Asghar Farhadi’s Berlin Golden Bear, actor and actress winner, “Nader and Simin, a Separation,” signing with Memento Films Intl. in an already announced pact.

From Cologne’s Match Factory, Golem picked up Andres Veiel’s 1960s West Germany-set romance “If Not Us, Who,” winner of the Alfred Bauer Prize, plus Miranda July’s sophomore dramedy “The Future,”

also a Berlinale contender.

As one of Spain’s bigger art-pic distribberies, Golem is a regular buyer of social-issue movies, often dramas. However, Golem’s pickups are evolving with European art-house tastes, including more comedies such as Italian helmer-actor Gianni di Gregorio’s “The Salt of Life,” acquired from Fandango Portobello, and Yasemin Samdereli’s immigration tale “Almanya: Welcome to Germany,” a Beta Cinema-sold pic which also boasts large doses of humor.

Returning to more sober themes, and closing its intense buying activities at Berlin, Golem nabbed from Fortissimo Films Mohamed Diab’s “678,” the story of three women’s search for justice when confronted by daily sexual harassment in Egypt.

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