'I Want You,' 'Model,' 'Maktub' deals announced at busy Madrid Screenings

MADRID

Miami-based Somos TV acquired U.S. pay TV rights to five Spanish films, led by Eduard Cortes’ adventure pic “Winning Streak” as the 7th Madrid de Cine-Spanish Film Screenings wrapped Wednesday.

Sealed with Film Factory Entertainment, pact also includes rights to psychological thriller “The Path,” co-penned by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo; Alberto Rodriguez’s cop thriller “Unit 7″; 13-part love story “Puzzled Love” and Oberon Cinematografica’s TV movie “Codigo 60.” Deal is for the second pay TV window.

HBO took first pay TV rights to “Unit 7″ on Monday (Daily Variety).

For Spain, U.S. pay TV packages rep good business and are part of the fast-evolving strategies of the local film industry as it reacts to globalized film tastes and directorial ambitions, plus contracting funding and markets in Spain.

In one of the big announcements at the event, 6 Sales licensed Fernando Trueba’s black-and-white “The Artist and the Model” to Bac Films for France. Spoken largely in French, it stars Jean Rochefort as a dying sculptor seeking final inspiration in 1942 war-torn southern France.

Imagina Intl. Sales also screened a five-minute promo for Fernando Colomo’s “La Bande Picasso,” a French-language period romp, turning on the painter’s alleged robbery of the Mona Lisa.

One of the best-received Screenings titles at the three-day meet was teen romancer “I Want You,” the sequel to 2010 Spanish smash-hit “Three Meters Above the Sky.” As French hits have shown, there’s a fast-emerging overseas market for local blockbusters. In Madrid, Imagina closed “I Want You” with Russia’s Carmen Films. It will open on 200 prints July 5.

Mexican distributor Luis Calzada, who already acquired “Three Meters” via distrib Quality Films, is expected to acquire Latin American rights.

Weisner Distribution picked up “I Want You” for Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. It plans an October bow, said distrib head Cynthia Weisner.

“Distributors are now looking for more feel-good films than dramas,” said Beatriz Setuain, Imagina Intl. Sales head of films.

Seeking wider audiences, directors are also adding genre gristle or a thriller thrust to their movies.

It often pays dividends: Latido, for instance, has licensed DVD, TV and VOD rights to Gerardo Herrero’s World War II serial killer thriller “Frozen Silence” with Filmedia Distribution in France and Aya Pro in Japan.

Film Factory sold Alberto Rodriguez’s “Unit 7,” a Seville-set corrupt cop thriller, to HBO for U.S. pay TV and VOD, as well as to France’s Zylo and Germany’s Tiberius.

Producers are also pursuing international co-productions: Filmax announced in Madrid it will co-produce genre movies “Torment” and “The Returned” with Toronto’s Gearshift Films and Ramaco, respectively.

Any Spanish company worth its salt is pursuing international business. For example, Warner handled Spanish distribution and Warner Bros Pictures Intl. closed all Mexican and Argentine distribution rights on Paco Arango’s fable “Maktub,” Madrid shingle Calcon’s first film.

DeAPlaneta’s nine-minute promo of “The Body,” a Hitchcock-inspired morgue-set thriller with a big final twist, received an upbeat reception.

Among a wide buyer spread, “Six Points About Emma,” about a blind woman’s battle to become a mother, and Valladolid Festival new director winner “Chrysalis” also had fans.

Sold to EuropaCorp for France, Colombia-set hostage-rescue drama “Operation E,” a Screening favorite, is the subject of advanced negotiations for Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic with Weisner Distribution.

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