Gamero to head Antena 3 Films

Exec takes top Spanish film and TV role

MADRID — Spanish film and TV exec Mercedes Gamero has been tapped as general director of Antena 3 Films, the film production arm of broadcaster Antena 3.

Gamero replaces producer Tedy Villalba, who has ankled to hang his own production shingle, which will carry out production duties for Antena 3 Films.

Also responsible for sales and acquisitions at Antena 3, Gamero becomes one of Spain’s most powerful film and TV execs, managing one of the biggest budgets in the local biz.

The Spanish version of the European Union Television Without Frontiers Directive obliges local broadcasters to invest 5% of their annual income in the financing of Spanish and European films and TV movies.

For 2008, Antena 3 will plough around Euros42 million ($61.7 million) into film production.

Given that the 5% obligation is not normally profitable for Spanish broadcasters, Antena 3 Films is redirecting part of its investment commitment to so-called films for TV, producing two-episode miniseries, with a total length of 150 minutes.

“To fulfill the 5% obligation, we will increase our investment in TV content but also continue to back local B.O. hits such as comedy ‘Fuera de carta,’ toplining Javier Camara,” Gamero said.

Antena 3 Films is producing three miniseries: biopic “Marisol,” helmed by Manuel Palacios; Daniel Calparsoro’s true life-inspired drama “El castigo”; and Roberto Bodegas’ “20-N,” about the last days of dictator Francisco Franco.

Another challenge for Gamero may be to strengthen synergies with Antena 3’s European partner, Germany’s RTL Group, owner of a 20% stake in the channel, through the co-production of miniseries.