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HBO takes U.S. rights to ‘Unit 7’

Spanish hit closes France, Germany

MADRID — HBO has acquired U.S. pay TV and VOD rights to Alberto Rodriguez’s Tribeca Competition player “Unit 7,” a highlight at the Spanish Film Screenings, which bowed Monday.

In deals with the two biggest markets for Spanish-language films from Spain — in terms of sales receipts and individual films’ minimum guarantees — Zylo has closed “7” for France, and Tiberius took Germany.

Tiberius also picked up high-school comedy “Ghost Graduation,” while Daro has taken Russia.

Warner Bros. distributed “7” in Spain, Fox released “Graduation.”

Deals were all struck by Vicente Canales’ Film Factory, which screens “Unit 7” and “Graduation” in Madrid.

An HBO U.S. pick-up — often worth far more for foreign films than an all-rights U.S. indie distributor deal — marks further recognition for “7.”

A hard-hitting corrupt cop thriller set in early ’90s Seville, “7” scored €2.4 million ($3 million) off an April 6 bow, ranking as one of the top-three Spanish releases of 2012.

Produced by Jose Antonio Felez’s Atipica Films, and the fourth Seville-set feature from Rodriguez, like his earlier “7 Virgins,” “7” was praised by critics for its strong sense of not only place and social issues — the stock in trade of Spanish art-house — but also character.

Sold to Fox for North and Latin America, with a remake set up at Will Smith’s Overbrook Ent., “Graduation” is produced by Spain’s Ciskul, Think Studio, Mod Producciones (“Agora,” “Biutiful”) and Ikiru Films (“Lope “) with Fox Intl. Prods. “Graduation” grossed $2.1 million in Spain.

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