MADRID — Former Sogepaq international sales exec, Gorka Bilbao, has joined DeAPlaneta Intl., the increasingly ambitious Spanish film sales company.

He takes up the post, effective immediately, of international sales manager, replacing Laia Medina. Bilbao will report to Yolanda del Val, DeAPlaneta head of acquisitions and sales.

With Medina remaining at DeAPlaneta Intl. to head up press, as well as for parent DeAPlaneta, Bilbao’s appointment reps a strengthening of the sales company. It coincides, moreover, with DeAPlaneta’s strategic shift, moving into the select acquisition of high-profile titles for international, a policy kicked off by Guillermo del Toro-godfathered “Julia’s Eyes,” the latest pic from “Orphanage” producers Joaquin Padro and Mar Targarona at Barcelona’s Rodar y Rodar. “Eyes” is co-produced by Universal Pictures Intl., which has rights to Spain, France and Latin America.

Bilbao joins a capitalized, comglom-backed sales company that can strike synergies with parent DeAPlaneta, one of Spain’s main indie distributors and the controlling shareholder at Spanish broadcaster Antena 3.

“While DeAPlaneta Intl. is interested in acquiring higher-end titles, it has not lost a commitment to all kinds of Spanish films,” Bilbao told Daily Variety.

So May’s Cannes Film Festival will see DeAPlaneta Intl. unveiling a 15-minute promo of “Eyes,” and screening the Jaleo Films-produced “Mapas,” a comedic road movie from second-time helmer Miguel Angel Calvo Buttini.

Before serving at Sogepaq from 2008-10, Bilbao was distribution co-ordinator at Festival Films over 2007-08.