Morena launches label for comedies

Happy Hour for teens; 'Slam' to bow this year

Morena has launched a low-budget Happy Hour label for teen/twentysomething testosterone comedies.

The label will be run by Pedro Uriol, who will also produce its movies. One, rock ‘n’ roll, road movie “Slam,” will be released this year; another, Juan Carlos Rubio’s $2 million “Fin de curso” (School’s Out), is in development.

The low-budget label and slate of projects in the $4 million to $7.5 million bracket underscore a growing split in Spanish budget levels.

Spanish producers are raising the bar and contemplating more English-lingo projects, in order to enter the select few films that can pull down free-to-air and pay TV coin in Spain and attach elements that can interest international buyers.

“Using English isn’t about raising Spanish TV coin; it’s because we’re interested in subjects that are international,” says producer Juan Gordon.

Spanish producers are also focusing on smaller budgets, which can make much of their money from their appeal to Spain’s core, youth cinemagoing demo.

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