SAN SEBASTIAN – Call it the San Sebastian effect.
Koldo Zuazua’s San Sebastian-based Kowalski Films, one of Spain’s most active national and international co-producers, with three films at the San Sebastian festival this year, has seen multiple deals go down off the selection of Fernando Franco’s drama “Wounded.”
Underscoring the positive collateral of a major festival berth, Pamplona-based Golem Distribution has taken “Wounded’s” theatrical and home entertainment rights to Spain. Paybox Canal Plus tied down feevee transmission in Spain.
Madrid-based Imagina International Sales handles international distribution, as already announced.
Franco’s “Wounded,” the only debut film competing at San Sebastian’s main competition, is co-produced by Kowalski with Seville’s Encanta Films and Ferdydurke, plus Madrid-based Elamedia and Pantalla Partida.
“San Sebastian gives ‘Wounded’ a profile that allows it possibilities of commercial recoupment,” said Koldo Zuazua.
Toplined by Spanish actress Marian Alvarez, winner of 2007’s Locarno Silver Leopard for her leading role in “The Best of Me,” “Wounded” turns on Ana, a 30-year-old ambulance driver woman suffering from a borderline personality disorder which drives her to alcohol abuse and self-destructive habits.
Popular on Variety
“Wounded’s” deals come as Kowalski is consolidating as a flexible production partner with business not only in Spain but also in California.
Beyond “Wounded,” Kowalski’s presence at San Sebastian extends to Oskar Santos’ “Zip & Zap and The Marble Gang,” the first Velodrome big-screen player, co-produced with top Spanish outfits Atresmedia Cine, Mod Producciones and Zeta Audiovisual, plus Zabaltegi sidebar player “Violet,” from Luiso Berdejo (“The New Daughter”), partnering with Santa Monica-based Tati Films.
“I’ve worked in different roles on different films,” Zuazua said. “Mainly, I’ve developed my career as a line producer and executive producer: My own productions to date have been short-films,” he added.
“The rest of my work has been providing services to other companies. ‘Wounded’ marks the first time I’ve assumed these responsibilities from my own company.”
At Kowalski, “our goal is to combine commercial film productions with other more auteur-oriented and riskier projects, always in co-production structures, trying, each time a little more, to attract national and international film productions to the Basque Country, enhancing the presence of Basque talent,” Zuazua said.
The Basque country has multiple attractions as an international shoot locale, he argued: Potential co-financing from the Basque government and pubcaster ETB; and a more favorable tax regime than the rest of the peninsula.