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Escandalo back Coll’s next pic

Director's soph drama has comic overtones

Barcelona-based Escandalo Films will produce “Puzzlement” — a working title — the sophomore outing of Mar Coll (“Three Days With the Family”).

The announcement comes as Escandalo’s latest production, “Eva,” from Kike Maillo, world preems out-of-competition at Venice.

An unusual mix — a robot melodrama — “Eva” opens the 44th Sitges Festival, Europe’s biggest genre movie huddle on Oct. 6.

“Puzzlement” turns on a middle-age woman, Geni, who struggles to recover her life after a serious car accident. “Puzzlement” is co-penned by Coll and Valentina Viso.

“Although it could be considered to be first and foremost a drama, the film also has comic overtones,” Colls said. “Geni deeply fails to adjust to ordinary life: That generates funny situations.”

Sporting a medium-range budget for Spain, per production sources, “Puzzlement” bucks the trend at Escandalo of either making very low-budget movies or higher-bracket pics costing $5 million or more, such as “Eva.”

“It’s an exception,” Escandalo CEO Sergi Casamitjana told Variety. “Each movie has its own natural proportions and Mar wants to do this sort of movie. And ‘Family’ performed nicely.”

Coll’s quietly touching family drama “Family” nabbed a creditable $460,000 at the Spanish B.O. and received multiple kudos led by a first feature Spanish Academy Goya plus direction, actress and actor prizes at Malaga Film Festival.

Escandalo looks to set up “Puzzlement” as a Spain-France co-production. Pic is set in Barcelona and the Pyrenees.

Escandalo has traditionally produced first features by former students at Barcelona’s prestigious Escac film school, whose alums include Juan Antonio Bayona (“The Orphanage”) and Guillem Morales (“Julia’s Eyes”).

Production house’s re-upping with Coll suggests it may be broadening that brief.

Shoot is skedded for second quarter 2012.