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Warner Bros., Atresmedia Team For ‘Palm Trees’ (EXCLUSIVE)

‘Impossible’ scribe Sergio S. Sanchez pens screenplay, Mario Casas stars

Warner Bros. Intl. Pictures Spain is joining forces with top Spanish film prodco Atresmedia Cine on Fernando Gonzalez Molina’s colonial melodrama, “Palm Trees in The Snow,” toplining Spanish megastar Mario Casas.

Sergio G. Sanchez (“The Impossible,” “The Orphanage”) is adapting the “Palm Trees” script, based on the same-titled 2012 best-selling novel by Spanish author Luz Gabas.

Warners, which has a considerable involvement in the script development alongside Atresmedia Cine, will distribute in Spain. The film is budgeted at around €10 million ($13.6 million).

A Spanish-language shoot kicks-off June 2014 on location in the Pyrenees mountains near Huesca, the Canary Islands and Costa Rica.

Beginning in 1953, the story turns on two brothers, Kilian, (Casas) and Jacobo who leave the Pyrenees to embark upon a journey to the African island of Fernando Poo (present-day Bioko), a Spanish colony where their father works on a cocoa plantation.

They enjoy its relatively liberal life-style until one of the brothers falls in love with a black woman.

Five decades later, Clarence, the daughter and niece of the two brothers delves into their tragic past.

“Palm Trees” represents the first feature film project developed in-house by Atresmedia Cine, said Atresmedia Cine CEO Mercedes Gamero.

“The Spanish colonial period in Africa isn’t known at all. This could bring an exotic heft to the film in line with, for example, ‘The English Patient,’” Gamero said.

“Palm Trees” marks a re-teaming in several ways. Mario Casas and Gonzalez Molina worked together on two of Spain’s biggest B.O. hits in the last three years, also produced by Atresmedia and locally distributed by Warner Bros.: 2010’s teen drama “Three Meters Above the Sky,” which scored €9.9 million ($13.5 million) at the local B.O., and sequel “I Want You” ($16.4 million).

On Tuesday, Atresmedia and Warner Bros. will present a short video of the project at the San Sebastian Film Festival to attract international distributors and co-producers, Gamero added.

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