SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain — Spanish private broadcaster Tele 5 has unveiled a 12-film slate, which almost overnight establishes it as one of the country’s most powerful producers.
Tele 5’s slate is a forceful answer to accusations that it has not invested sufficiently in local pic production, despite co-financing hits such as Alex de la Iglesia’s “Dying of Laughter.”
Tele 5 is co-owned by Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset (40%), the Kirch Group (25%) and Spain’s Correo Group (25%). Its first big pic slate includes some projects with international potential and may be seen as a culmination to Aldo Spagnoli’s work as Tele 5’s managing director, acquisitions and co-productions.
Spagnoli has been called back to Milan by Mediaset managing director Maurizio Carlotti to become director of acquisitions at its rights-brokering division Mediatrade, reporting directly to Mediatrade CEO Roberto Pace.
Highlights of Tele 5’s 1999-2000 slate include:
- “Adios Madrid,” a Spanish-lingo romantic comedy co-produced with Universal and Spanish producer Cesar Benitez. U takes international rights.
- English-lingo romantic comedy “Heartbeat”
- “Gitano,” co-written by Arturo Perez Reverte, author of the novel that inspired Roman Polanski’s “The Ninth Gate.” Tele 5 is negotiating for Joaquin Cortes to star.
- “Son del vaiven,” a Kafkaesque Caribbean comedy by Fernando Trueba (“The Girl of Your Dreams”).
Tele 5 has also closed deals with Benitez on five further features: Joan Potau’s situation comedy “Sanbernardo” starring Patricia Velazquez (“The Mummy”); “La Gran Vida” from a script by Fernando Leon (“Neighborhood”); “Fin de curso,” a spinoff from a hit Tele 5 teen series; thriller “X” and “El Palo,” both written by Luis Marias; and the $3.4 million romantic comedy “Arroz dos delicias.”
Rounding out the slate are co-productions with Sogecable production house Sogetel — action comedy “Noche de reyes” and romantic comedy “Leila” — and a co-prod with Cartel, the drama “El rey del viento.”
(David Rooney in San Sebastian contributed to this report.)