Sogecine ramps up co-production plans

Co. to add four to seven pics to slate

CANNES — Spanish producer powerhouse Sogecine plans to co-produce four to seven Spanish films a year, doubling its production slate and consolidating its status as the biggest film production house in Spain along with Lolafilms.

Sogecine’s first projects in its co-financing drive will be Anton Reixa’s “El lapiz del carpintero,” with Morena Films, and new director Miguel Alvarez’s “Mi casa es tu casa,” a project from Tesela, said Sogecine general manager Fernando Bovaira, who oversees film production and distribution at Sogecable.

The blueprint, which will run parallel to Sogecine’s inhouse productions, may be a first step in the creation of targeted production alliances between Sogecine and other Spanish producers that share its interest in making upscale commercial pics with domestic and international potential.

“Our new strategy draws on the interest of indie companies in Spain to tap our finance and distribution capacity, and our interest in tapping talent as financial co-producers,” Bovaira said.

“Lapiz” and “Casa” will go out in Spain via Sogepaq, the powerful distrib sister company of Sogecine.

Owned by film and TV conglom Sogecable, a joint venture of France’s Canal Plus (21%) and Spain’s Prisa (21%), Sogecine is the co-producer of Alejandro Amenabar’s “The Others,” which Dimension will release Aug. 10 in the U.S.

At Cannes, Sogepaq has closed Spain on “We Were Soldiers Once … and Young” from Icon Entertainment Intl., the Coen brothers’ Cannes competition player “The Man Who Wasn’t There” and Alfonso Cuaron’s “Y tu mama tambien,” the last in a deal with the film’s Mexican producer Jorge Vergara and Endeavor, which reps Cuaron.

Sogecine is advancing on a fresh slate of pics, mostly from young Spanish directors, which includes Daniel Calparsoro’s Kosovo-set war pic “Guerreros”; Enrique Urbizu’s noirish “La caja 507”; Miguel Bardem’s “Noche de reyes,” co-financed by web Tele 5; and “The Stone Raft,” from George Sluizer, which has been set up as a co-production with Holland’s MGS and Portugal’s Lusomundo.

“Our aim is to grow as a company with the careers of our directors,” Bovaira said.

At Cannes, Sogepaq is initiating sales on “Sex and Lucia” from Julio Medem and “Intact” from first-time feature director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo.

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