Spanish director prepping four features

SAN SEBASTIAN — Having won critical praise and B.O. with “The Girl of Your Dreams,” Fernando Trueba and Penelope Cruz will reteam on comedy “La reina de Espana.”

The Spanish-language “Reina” is one of four projects unveiled by the helmer-scribe, whose “Chico and Rita” was nominated for an animated-feature Oscar last year, as he geared up for Monday’s world preem of his “The Artist and the Model” at Spain’s San Sebastian Festival.

“Reina” is a sequel to the 1938-set “Girl,” which starred Cruz as a songstress shooting a musical in Nazi Germany’s Ufa Studios with a Spanish cast and crew.

Reprising “Girl’s” characters, “Reina” updates the action 17 years to the mid-’50s, and moves back to Spain as big Hollywood shoots begin to lens in the country.

From a Trueba script, “Reina” will topline the same actors, such as Antonio Resines and Santiago Segura. Cristina Huete will produce for Fernando Trueba Prods., Cruz will co-produce.

Following up “Chico and Rita,” a double Spanish and European Film Academy animated film winner, Trueba plans to make two more toon pics with Javier Marsical, one of Spain’s foremost graphic artists.

One is “Tenorio,” an animated docu feature about Brazilian bossa nova pianist Francisco Tenorio Jr. (Variety, May 9), which Trueba is writing and Mariscal will co-direct.

Also, Mariscal and scribe Ivan Morales are writing a feature adaptation of the graphic artist’s signature 1970s cartoon series “Los Garriris,” “a story of sex, drugs and rock in the Balearic Islands in the 1960s,” Trueba said.

U.S. indie distributor Cohen Media Group, which has acquired “The Artist and the Model” for U.S. distribution, will co-produce with Fernando Trueba P.C. Trueba and Mariscal will co-helm.

Meanwhile, Trueba is writing a docu feature on the classics of Ibero-American cinema through to the 1980s.

“A Chilean doesn’t know Colombian cinema, a Colombian doesn’t know Mexican films,” he added, citing Leon Hirszman’s “They Don’t Wear Black Tie” and Argentinean Leonardo Favio’s “Chronicle of a Boy Alone” as two Ibero-American classics.

Enthused by Trueba’s idea, Walter Salles will co-produce out of Brazil via his Rio de Janeiro VideoFilmes label.

“I hope the documentary will be seen in festivals and cinematheques and on public TV but above all in schools and colleges,” Trueba said.

Shot largely in French and in black-and-white, and set in war-ravaged France in 1943, “The Artist and the Model” stars Jean Rochefort (“Man on the Train”).

Bac Films will distribute “Model” in France.

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