×

‘Mundi,’ ‘Gun’ and ‘Inevitable’ Stand Out in Madrid

Zylo closes France on ‘A Gun In Each Hand’

MADRID — “Mariah Mundi and the Midas Box,” “A Gun in Each Hand” and “Inevitable” proved standouts at this week’s Madrid de Cine-Spanish Film Screenings, Spain’s biggest annual film market for Spanish films whose industry announcements this year confirmed an ongoing revolution in the way films are getting made in the still crisis-wracked country.

A Victorian-England young-teen fantasy adventure co-produced by the U.K.’s Entertainment Motion Pics and Spain’s Arcadia Motion Pics, “Mariah Mundi” was by far the biggest of titles screening at Madrid de Cine in budget and cast, lead by Michael Sheen (“Midnight in Paris”), Sam Neill (“The Tudors”) and Lena Headey (“Game of Thrones”).

Most of the world was pre-sold on “Mariah,” with a U.S. sale now in the offing, Dreamcatchers’ partner Marina Fuentes told Variety.

Produced by Marta Esteban’s Impossible Films, sold by The Match Factory and a breakout art-house hit in Spain, Cesc Gay’s “Gun” has already closed 20 territories.

Opening Espagnolas en Paris’ Spanish film festival Different 6! to long applause on Friday, “Gun” was bought for France by Daniel Harroch’s Zylo Films after he met with The Match Factory’s Brigitte Suarez at Different’s mini-mart Rendez-vous a l’Opera! Harroch then screened “Gun” at Madrid de Cine.

“Different! and Madrid de Cine are a very good combination,” Suarez commented.

Zylo’s deal on a “Gun’s” selection for Different! guarantees a pick-up from France’s Canal Plus film-channel-bouquet Cine Plus, headed by Bruno Deloye, a significant deal sweetener.

The second feature from Jorge Algora (“The Mudboy”), “Inevitable” tips its hat to Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges in a fantasy-tinged Buenos Aires-set romantic drama-come-thriller featuring a top-notch Argentine-Spanish cast including Dario Grandinetti (“Talk to Her”) and Federico Luppi (“Pan’s Labyrinth”).

“Inevitable” attracted buyer interest from Germany, Scandinavia, Italy and France, said Pedro Peira, at production-sales house Festimania Pics.

Among other titles drawing often upbeat buyer reactions: “Alpha,” an above-par one-last-job thriller, which Filmax has under negotiation for France and Italy; Madrid-set dysfunctional lover comedy “I Am Dating You Not”; and Andalusian slice-of-life matriarch comedy “Carmina Or Blow Up,” sold by Cinema Republic, and enthusiastically applauded at a special screening at Madrid’s Cineteca.

Running June 17-19, Madrid de Cine unspooled as the number of shoots in Spain this year dropped through June 12 by 26% to 43, less than half the number of Spanish features which went into production over the same period in 2011. Only a quarter of 2013 titles had – for Spanish films higher-bracket budgets, per Jose Antonio Feliz, president of producers’ assn. Asociacion Estatal de Cine.

Organized by Spain’s Fapae producers’ federation, Madrid de Cine’s “taking place was in itself a real achievement,” given Spain’s austere time, said Film Factory’s Vicente Canales.

But the lack of bigger new Spanish titles coming onto the market is worrying sales agents and foreign distributors alike.

“Spain now has to compete for Spanish-language market sales with emerging market cinemas. As its volume of production falls, there’s a danger of Spain being overtaken by Colombia and Chile, among others,” said Somos TV’s Jose Ramon Ganchegui.

That said, the Spanish film industry is not taking crisis lying down.

During Madrid de Cine, Paris bank Natixis-Coficine made public the appointment of Gate Media as its official agent in Spain and Latin America. Move should increase credit for Spain’s liquidity-parched film, TV and animation industries. Telecinco Cinema (“The Impossible,” “Tad, the Lost Explorer”), the film arm of broadcast group Mediaset Group, confirmed it is preparing ambitious titles for the international market, Rodar y Rodar that it has appointed consultancy Estratelis to advise on a stock market listing.

Spanish sale agents also closed multiple international sales deals, now a Spanish film industry lifeblood. Among Madrid de Cine trading:

*Miami-based Somos TV acquired U.S. pay-TV rights to “A Gun In Each Hand” and “Clara no es un nombre de mujer.” It is in advanced talks to also acquire “Ali,” sold by Horacio Urban’s Urban Films.

*Imagina International Sales acquired foreign sales rights to Diego Galan’s Cannes Classics’ player, “Barefoot in the Kitchen,” a chronicle of how women were portrayed in Spanish cinema from the 1930s onwards. Weisner Distribution closed Puerto Rico on Imagina’s dysfunctional lovers’ comedy “I Am Dating You Not” and period romp “Picasso’s Gang.”

*Film Factory sold “Code 60” to Japan’s Only Hearts and a four-film-pack – “Ismael,” “La gran familia espanola,” “Three Many Weddings,” “Unit 7 “ – to Dexin Film in former-Yugoslavia. Canales is fielding key territory offers on “Zip & Zap,” which is tipped for a major fall fest.

*DeAPlaneta sold Colombian kidnapping drama “Operation E” to Palmera Intl. for Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Panama and Costa Rica.

*Filmax Intl. has “Son of Cain” and “Here’s the Deal” under negotiation for Germany and “Torment” for Latin American countries.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Our Mothers Review

    Oscars: Belgium Sends Cannes Prizewinner 'Our Mothers' to International Feature Film Race

    Belgian Guatemalan director Cesar Diaz’s feature debut “Our Mothers” will represent Belgium in the International Feature Film category at the Oscars. Represented in international markets by Pyramide, “Our Mothers” world premiered at Cannes’s Critics Week and won the Golden Camera for best first film. “Our Mothers” is set in today’s Guatemala, a country riveted on [...]

  • La vaca "The Cow"

    Alfredo Castro, Mia Maestro, Leonor Varela Cast in Francisca Alegria’s Debut (EXCLUSIVE)

    SANTIAGO, Chile  —  The much anticipated feature debut of Chilean Francisca Alegria, renowned for her magical short “And the Whole Sky Fit in the Dead Cow’s Eye,” has firmed up its cast and shooting dates. Argentine thesp Mia Maestro (“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn”), Chile’s Leonor Varela (“Dallas,” “Blade 2”), Alfredo Castro (“From Afar,” “Museum”) [...]

  • 210819 Distribusjonsseminar DNF

    Haugesund: Nordic Distribution Panel Analyzes Recent Success Story 'Queen of Hearts'

    HAUGESUND, Norway  —  On Wednesday morning, shortly before this year’s New Nordic Films Works in Progress screening was due to begin, a handful of industry veterans sat for a panel that picked up right where last year’s WIP program left off. Presented in collaboration with Europa Distribution, the panel – called “The Value Chain: A [...]

  • L-R Dena Kaplan, Ronny Chieng, Josh

    Rafe Spall Leads Cast of Oscar Nominated Josh Lawson's 'Long Story Short'

    Rafe Spall, whose credits include “The Big Short” and “Shaun of the Dead,” leads the cast of romantic comedy “Long Story Short.” Studiocanal will handle worldwide sales on the film, which starts to shoot on Monday in Sydney, Australia. The movie is written and directed by Josh Lawson, who was Oscar nominated last year for [...]

  • Metro 2033

    Cult Sci-Fi Novel 'Metro 2033' to Be Adapted as Movie (EXCLUSIVE)

    Russia’s TNT-Premier Studios Company, TV-3 Channel and Central Partnership Film Company – all part of Gazprom Media – have come together to produce a movie based on Dmitry Glukhovsky’s sci-fi novel “Metro 2033,” which has also been adapted as a video game. Filming is due to start next year. The Russian premiere of the movie [...]

  • Beforeigners

    'Beforeigners'' Anne Bjornstad on HBO's First Norwegian Original Series

    HAUGESUND, Norway  —  HBO Europe’s first Norwegian original series, which debuted Aug. 21 exclusively across HBO’s territories, has garnered rave reviews in the Norwegian press. It is also a perfect fit for HBO’s brand and goal to create bold, smart and author-driven shows. Produced by Endemol Shine’s Norwegian prodco Rubicon TV, “Beforeigners” is helmed by [...]

  • Refugees from the besieged Muslim enclave

    Sarajevo’s True Stories Market: Documenting the Atrocities of War

    Reconciliation and dealing with the tragedies of the Yugoslav Wars has been a major focus of the Sarajevo Film Festival and its CineLink Industry Days event in recent years. The True Stories Market, launched in 2016, aims to connect filmmakers with organizations that are researching and documenting the Yugoslav Wars that spanned 1991 to 2001 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content