‘Reiner’ rules at Valladolid festival

'Control' seizes critics' prize

Spaniard Carlos Perez Ferre’s “Asunto Reiner” and German Nicole Weegmann’s “Outta Control” topped the inaugural Valladolid Intl. TV Film and Fiction Festival, with the event looking set to become the nearest Spain gets to a mini L.A. Screenings.

Actress-director Silvia Munt (“Pretexts”) picked up a career achievement award at Thursday night’s closing ceremony; Narciso Ibanez Serrador (“Island of the Damned”), a Spanish chiller pioneer, took another career plaudit Saturday.

Playing the Valladolid TV Fest’s TV movie competition, and scoring 4.63 points out of 5, noirish cop thriller “Reiner” just beat out the German TV movie “Control,” which took the critics’ prize.

Produced by Cologne Film, “Control” turns on a rebellious youth interned in a psychiatric center.

For scribes, the other two standouts in the TV movie competition were competish opener “La Otra ciudad,” an ensembler from Silvia Quer, and Laurent Heynemann’s “Un homme d’honneur,” about the final years of French Prime Minister Pierre Beregovoy.

Run by Javier Angulo, the director of the Valladolid Intl. Film Festival, Valladolid’s first TV fest took place at a watershed time for Spanish TV movie production.

On Tuesday, Ignasi Guardans, the new head of the ICAA Spanish film institute, confirmed that TV movies — whether single films or two-part minis — will be able to draw down government subsidies once Spain’s new film law is operative, forseeably from 2010.

Also, real-event-based TV movies are hitting huge ratings in Spain — the Quer-directed “23F: The Most Difficult Day for the King,” about Spain’s frustrated 1981 military coup, punched a 35.5% share this February.

While Spanish theatrical movies still usually take low grosses at the box office, cineastes are discovering coin and mass-audiences for cinema on TV.

“Instead of stepping-up from shorts to long-features, new directors will develop from shorts to TV movies,” Angulo predicted.

Projects announced at Valladolid include “Tarancon,” about Spanish Cardinal Vicente Enrique Tarancon, an architect of Spain’s transition to democracy, which will be directed by Antonio Hernandez (“The City of No Limits”).

Strategically dated, the Valladolid TV Fest gave Spanish broadcasters a platform to announce and sometimes showcase their fall lineups.

David Martinez, head of fiction at pubcaster TVE, confirmed TV movie “Operacion Jaque” would go ahead. The pic, which will be helmed by Quer, is about the rescue of Ingrid Betancourt. TVE has seven TV movies and mini-series in the works.

Antena 3 Films revealed that Sergio Cabrera (“The Art of Losing”) will direct TV movie “Adolfo Suarez,” about the Spanish politico who steered Spain to democracy in the 70s.

At Catalan pubcaster TV3, Abel Folk will helm “Xtrems,” an ensembler portraying chronic addictions.

For its second edition, Angulo said he’d like to raise the number of international TV movies or mini-series in competition to six of a 12-title lineup, and screen more segs from upcoming Spanish fall series.

“There could even be a TV movie market,” Angulo added. “The time of TV movies and mini-series has come.”

The Valladolid TV fest ran June 20-25.

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