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EuroForum picks pix at Las Palmas

Standouts include 'Exposed,' 'Sweet,' 'Sex'

MADRID — EuroForum 2005, a Canary Islands co-production meet, hosted more than 40 distributors and producers from 12 countries to hear pitches from 23 European projects in pre-production or at script stage.

The 3-year-old EuroForum was held from March 9-11, during the Las Palmas Intl. Film Festival.

Standout projects included contempo film noir “Exposed” (Germany); bullfighter love story “The Sweet Life” (Spain); love triangle “The Sex of the Angels” (Spain); and provincial melodrama “Peccato: In the Name of Love” (Italy).

Director Fatih Akin, best film winner at Berlin and the European Film Awards for “Head-On,” presented “Soul Kitchen,” a multicultural comedy with a serious look at relationships.

“The projects are better and it’s a great way to meet potential co-producers,” said Kanzaman production prexy Denis Pedregosa.

No one knows that better than Intuition Films general manager Patrick Juarez, who gives credit to last year’s EuroForum for the alliance he’s made with Madrid-based S2 Intl. producer Stephane Sorlat.

“Thanks to last year’s contact with Stephane, we’re now in production on Michel Ocelot’s ‘Azur and Asmar,’ ” Juarez said. The $13.3 million animated feature follows Ocelot’s French toon hit, “Kirikou and the Sorceress,” and boasts a team of Pixar and DreamWorks talent, including artistic director Daniel Cacouault and director of animation Kyle Badia (“Monsters, Inc.,” “Toy Story 2”).

Gerard Depardieu and Susannah York collected lifetime awards at the sixth Las Palmas Film Festival. Forum producer guests included Roger Corman.

Jia Zhangke’s “The World” (China) took home the top Lady Harimaguada film prize, while Lebanese director Danielle Arbid won the silver award plus new director honors for “In the Battlefields.”

Special jury prize went to Jun Ichikawa’s “Tony Takitani” (Japan). Vera Fogwell’s “Kept and Dreamless” (Argentina) won the audience award.