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Serra to helm ‘Gernica’

Love story records Spanish Civil War atrocity

The Basque Country’s Koldo Serra (“Backwoods”) will direct the English-language “Gernica,” an across-the-tracks love story and disaster movie set against the background of the German Luftwaffe’s infamous 1937 destruction of the Basque village, an atrocity immortalized in Pablo Picasso’s “Guernica.”

Spain’s Pecado Films, Travis Produce and Main Research Question, all members of Jacinta Paratotodo Prods., are teaming with the U.K.’s Spice Factory to produce.

Stealth Media Group will handle international sales. It is introducing the project at the Berlin festival.

Serra will helm from a screenplay by Carlos Clavijo and Barney Cohen (“Sabrina, the Teenage Witch”), based on an original story by Jose Alba, Carlos Clavijo and Cohen.

“Gernika” turns on the love affair between a jaundiced American journalist and an idealistic Republican girl, who works as a censor and is increasingly outraged at the spin she has to give to news.

Their romance is set against the Luftwaffe’s attack on Guernica, seen as a trial for blitzkrieg tactics in World War II.

Spice Factory’s production credits include “The Merchant of Venice” and “Head in the Clouds.” “Gernica’s” producers are Jose Alba, Carlos Clavijo and Enrique Garcia, exec producers Ivan Cohen and Michael L. B. Cowan.

“Backwoods” was Serra’s acclaimed debut, a portrait of deep Spain prejudice and violence, starring Gary Oldman, Paddy Considine, Virginie Ledoyen and Aitana Sanchez-Gijon.

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