A Contracorriente nabs ‘Guard’

Spanish distrib takes 'Fuera de juego'

MADRID — Arthouse producer-distributor A Contracorriente Films has snagged all Spanish rights to Irish black comedy “The Guard,” starring Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle.

“Guard” — which has earned Gleeson a Golden Globe nomination for his turn as a small-town Irish cop — marks John Michael McDonagh’s directorial debut.

After its summer release, pic scored north of $7.5 million in the U.K., distributed by Element, and $5.3 million Stateside, handled by Sony Pictures Classics, two standout perfs.

A Contracorriente inked “Guard” rights from U.K. sales company Ealing Metro Intl.

The Spanish theatrical bow is scheduled for first half 2012 on around 50 prints.

Barcelona-based A Contracorriente has also inked with Valencia’s production company Nadie Es Perfecto to take theatrical and home entertainment rights to David Marques’ soccer comedy “Fuera de juego,” which bows in Spain first quarter 2012 on around 100 prints.

Specialized in popular arthouse movies, A Contracorriente aims to release a dozen films next year, said founder Adolfo Blanco.

Many 2012 slate highlights are from France, including local blockbuster “Untouchables,” action-thriller “Point Blank,” Audrey Tautou’s romancer “Delicacy,” political drama “The Conquest” and gastronomic comedy “The Chef,” which Contracorriente co-produces alongside Gaumont.

“French movies are very close to the tastes of the Spanish audiences, so we look with great interest at all the film projects from that territory,” Blanco said.