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TVE Backs Mateo Gil’s Sci-fi pic ‘Project Lazarus’

Spanish pubcaster will invest $33.8 million on film and TV productions during 2014

Mateo Gil, co-writer of Alejandro Amenabar’s Oscar-winner “The Sea Inside” and director of Sam Shepard-starred “Blackthorn,” is attached to direct sci-fi film “Project Lazarus.”

The English-language pic, a reflection on inmortality, is set in 2074, when for the first time in history, a medical corporation succeeds in reviving a man cryogenized 60 years ago.

Budgeted at $7.0 million, pic is produced by Ibon Cormenzana at Barcelona’s outfit Arcadia Motion Pictures and structured as an European co-production.

“Lazarus” is one of a clutch of new pre-buys unveiled by TVE, the TV division of Spanish pubcaster RTVE, at a press conference Friday at the San Sebastian Film Festival.

Further pre-buys include Julio Medem’s “Ma Ma,” co-produced by Morena Films and Penelope Cruz, who also stars alongside Luis Tosar, and Cesc Gay’s comedy “Truman,” with Ricardo Darin and Javier Camara.

As part of its commitment with Spanish film and TV industry, pubcaster confirmed it would continue its investment, ploughing about Euro26 million ($33.8 million) on film and TV production. The figure, however, fell 10% compared to the $37.8 million the pubcaster invested last year.

Obliged by law to earmark 6% of its annual turnover for local or European production, pubcaster has dedicated 75% of total investment to finance 20 feature films, 12.5% to three TV movies and miniseries and the rest to 25 documentaries, said Fernando Lopez Puig, head of film and fiction at TVE.

Further feature projects backed by TVE include Eduard Cortes’ musical film “Cerca de tu casa,” produced by Barcelona’s Bausan Films, Dani Guzman’s “A cambio de nada,” which marks TV prodco La Competencia’s entry into film production, Peris Romano’s “Los miercoles no existen,” produced by Frade PC, toon pic “Menique y el espejo magico,” a Spain-Cuba co-production directed by Ernesto Padron, and Joaquin Jimenez Hacha’s documentary “Cantabrico.”

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