Spanish production powerhouse sets slate
SAN SEBASTIAN — Antena 3 Films, a key Spanish film industry driver, is co-producing Javier Ruiz Caldera’s laffer “Tres bodas de mas” (Three More Weddings).Ruiz Caldera’s follow-up to teen comedy “Ghost Graduation,” which Fox picked up for North America and Latin America, “Weddings” teams “Ghost” co-producers Ciudadano Ciskul and ThinkStudio with Apaches Ent., producers of “The Impossible.” The film production arm of Spanish TV conglom Antena 3 Group, A3F has taken a minority equity stake in Eugenio Mira’s thriller “Grand Piano,” a Nostromo Pictures production toplining Elijah Wood and John Cusack. It rolls from August. A3F is investing in eight 2012 shoots, following two production lines: Local Spanish movies, and higher-budget, international, English-language titles with Spanish talent, CEO Mercedes Gamero told Variety. Distributed by Warners in Spain, “Weddings” portrays a “Bridget Jones”-ish thirty-something woman, played by Inma Cuesta (“The Sleeping Voice”), who can’t find her soulmate. Suddenly, she begins to receive wedding invitations from former boyfriends. Ensemble cast includes Paco Leon, Martin Rivas, Quim Gutierrez, Maria Botto, Laura Sanchez and Rossi de Palma. Ruiz Caldera, who debuted with 2009 smash hit “Spanish Movie,” directs from a screenplay by Pablo Alen and Breixo Corral. “Weddings” rolls for seven weeks in Barcelona from Oct. 15. “We nurture quality talent that lures film and TV audiences,” Gamero said. The top Spanish film producer at 2011′s B.O., A3F co-productions collectively punched Euros35.3 million ($46 million) in Spain, led by “Torrente 4″ and “Brain Drain 2.” Prior hits — “To Hell with the Ugly,” “Brain Drain” and “Three Meters Above the Sky” — have recently goosed profits by snagging standout TV primetime ratings. “Spanish films work on TV if they have at the B.O. and are well-programmed,” Gamero added. 2012′s slate includes drama “Kamikaze,” Alex Pina’s helming debut, starring Alex Garcia, Veronica Echegui and Carmen Machi, and co-produced by Cangrejo and Estudios Hackenbush. Shooting in Lisbon, Daniel Carparsoro-helmed actioner “Combustion” is co-produced with Zeta Cinema. It toplines Alex Gonzalez, Adriana Ugarte and Alberto Ammann. Rolling from September, Alejandro Ezcurdia’s surfing world-set thriller “Tres60,” written by Luis Berdejo and co-produced with Bowfinger and Basque pubcaster ETB, is released next year by Warner. Filming has wrapped on Oskar Santos’ family comedy “Zip & Zap and the Marble Gang,” teaming A3F, Zeta and Mod Prods, and released by BVI in Spain. Along with Mod and Atipica Films, A3F is producing Daniel Sanchez Arevalo’s “La Gran familia Espanola.” Nacho Vigalondo’s “Windows” — a co-production with Apaches sold internationally by Wild Bunch — rolls this month.