Spain’s Lauren inks pic pacts with locals

New move underscores that most top indie pics are domestic

CANNES — Spain’s numero uno indie distrib, Antonio Llorens’ Lauren Films, is inking accords with the country’s top film producers as it plows into the theatrical and video distribution of local pics.

Lauren Films will handle exclusive distribution of films from Elias Querejeta, Cartel, Oberon Cinematografica, Fernando Colomo, Gona, Fairplay and Lauren itself, and it is in advanced talks to handle Mate Prods.’ movies.

Lauren is Miramax Intl.’s preferred Spanish distrib and has an output deal for Spain with Artisan Entertainment.

New move underscores a blunt reality in Spain, as elsewhere in Europe: Beyond top foreign titles, the indie pics that dominate rankings in Spain are domestic.

“The deals prove that Lauren is behind Spanish films,” said Lauren CEO Llorens.

In its first distribution deal with a local producer, Lauren inked last year with Oberon, maker of “Pau and His Brother,” which screens Thursday in competition at Cannes.

The distrib deals do not include Cartel’s co-productions with fellow producer Tornasol; they are handled in Spain by Alta.

First pic to go out under Lauren’s native distrib agreements was Oberon’s “Don’t Cry, Germaine” in January.

Lauren’s new distribution push coincides with its return to pic production. At Cannes, Llorens will discuss possible co-production deals on its first project, the $2.2 million “Lisistrata,” a gay comic version of the Greek play by Ralf Koenig. Pic toplines Spanish thesp Maribel Verdu. Francesc Bellmunt will direct.

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