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Antena 3 starts pic wing

Villalba, Huerta to head unit

MADRID — Telefonica Media’s Spanish broadcaster Antena 3 (A3) has created pic production house Ensueno Films, which looks set to figure among the most powerful film financiers in the territory.

In July 1999, A3 pledged 9 billion pesetas ($50.6 million) over three years to finance Spanish films, TV movies and series. A3 also is obliged by Spain’s version of the European Union’s Television Without Frontiers directive to invest 5% of its yearly net income to finance European films and TV movies. Last year that amounted to $30 million, which could be channeled via Ensueno Films.

Ensueno will be headed by Tedy Villalba, A3’s director of fiction and cinema projects. His deputy will be Concha Huerta, a former program director at Sogecable’s paybox Canal Plus Espana.

Ensueno was kept under wraps until this month’s theatrical release of its first project, raunchy youth actioner “No te Fallare” (I Won’t Let You Down), which has found B.O. success.

Co-produced with the Arbol group, the spinoff from A3 fiction series “Companeros” (Companions) sprinted to $2.27 million after 17 days, making it the highest-grossing Spanish pic this year.

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