Producer teams with cruise line for branded content

SITGES, Spain — Luis de Val’s Barcelona-based Media Films will produce “A bordo” (On Board), the film debut of commercials directors Roger and Hugo Menduina.

The romantic comedy begins with a depressed radio chat-show host being kidnapped by friends. He wakes up on a cruise ship, where he’s supposed to get over a failed love affair. Script is by Alfred Perez Fargas and Roger Danes from an original idea by De Val.

Spanish pubcaster TVE and Catalan state TV web TVC have pre-bought “On Board.” It has also pulled down a subsidy from Spain’s ICAA Film Institute.

Spanish tour operator and cruise company Pullmantur will co-finance “On Board” in a branded content deal that may become more common in crisis-hit Spain as producers seek new funding sources,

Ad Script, the branded content division of global ad agency Young & Rubicam, will handle brand attractions, De Val said.

The pic will shoot on a Pullmantur cruise ship creating “cinema shoot cruise” events on the liner, he added, citing the Royal Caribbean’s deal on “Shrek.” Shooting is skedded for spring. The producers are casting.

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