Berlin: Telefonica Studios, Film Factory Board Alex De la Iglesia’s ‘My Big Night’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Enrique Cerezo produces next film from Spain’s comedy auteur

Berlin: Telefonica Studios, Film Factory Board

At a Berlin festival boasting a record-high 60-plus Latin American features in different sections, Telefonica Studios, the Spanish telco giant’s film/TV production arm, and Film Factory, a preeminent Spanish sales company, have boarded one of the highest-profile productions from the Spanish-speaking world: “My Big Night,” the next big comedy from Alex de la Iglesia (“Witching & Bitching”).

Telefonica Studios has taken substantial minority equity on “My Big Night”; Vicente Canales’ Film Factory introduces the title, produced by Enrique Cerezo, at Berlin.

Pic stars Spanish crooner Raphael, and goes into production on Feb. 23, aiming for a fall fest berth.

Co-written with Jorge Guerricaechevarria, De la Iglesia’s career-long co-scribe, “My Big Night” unspools at a lavish New Year’s Eve TV show, where the frenzied fake bonhomie contrasts with the shoot date – a sweltering mid-August – the participants’ actions and sentiments, and the solitude of the studio’s setting. Raphael plays a sadistic, ratings-chasing diva.

Beyond Raphael, “My Big Night” stars Spain’s hot young thesps Mario Casas (“Witching & Bitching”), Hugo Silva (“I’m So Excited”) and Blanca Suarez (“The Skin I Live In”) and “Torrente” director-star Santiago Segura.

“ ‘My Big Night’ is a multi-character, farcical dark comedy with the high-pitched energy of Billy Wilder’s ‘One, Two, Three,’ in the line of ‘Ferpect Crime,” top-notch De la Iglesia, and the recuperation of Raphael, a legend in Spain and Latin America, is a masterstroke,” said Telefonica Studios director Axel Kuschevatzky.

The “My Big Night” investment also highlights Telefonica Studios rapid ramp-up as a major financing force in Spain and Argentina, where 18 TS features will open in 2015. Backed by Telefonica, which posted €57.1 billion ($64.5 billion) revenues in 2013, Telefonica Studios is involved in 24-or-more co-productions.

“We’ve never dealt with such a huge lineup. We’re not aggressive but, yes, ambitious, in how we see our involvement in the filmmaking process,” said Kuschevatzky. Line-up features the two biggest Spanish movies of 2015, on paper at least, and both co-produced by Telecinco Cinema: Alejandro Amenabar’s “Regression,” and toon feature “Capture the Flag.”