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Pantelion Banks on Comedies, Horror

Distrib eyeing Lemon Films' 'Km.32'

GUADALAJARA — Televisa-Lionsgate joint venture Pantelion is gearing up to release its latest productions this year, starting with Omar Chaparro and Kevin Pollak buddy comedy “Compadres” on April 22 and “No Manches Frida,” the remake of German mega-hit “Fack ju Gohte” from Constantin Films, on Sept. 2 Labor Day.

Pantelion is also eyeing Lemon Films’ upcoming “KM. 32,” the sequel to its hit “KM 31,” for U.S. distribution.

Directed by Spain’s Nacho G. Vellila, “No Manches Frida” is currently in post in Spain and will include the music of Mexican Latin Grammy-winning band Reik and L.A.-based Grammy winners Ozomatli, said Pantelion COO Edward Allen. “Reik, which racks up more than 100 million views on YouTube, is composing an original song for the movie,” said Allen. “No Manches Frida” is a prototype for Pantelion’s new strategy to cast its net wide for international hits with strong remake potential. “This is our baby; we’ve been with it from conception to birth,” said Allen.

“No Manches Frida” is produced by Pantelion Films with Constantin Films, Alcon Entertainment and Mexico’s Mauricio Arguelles and Martha Higareda of Neverending Media. Higareda, who stars opposite Chaparro, found early success as a producer with Televisa-backed “Casese Quien Pueda,” 2014’s top-grossing Mexican comedy, in which she also played the lead. Frida in the title refers to the name of the high school where an ex-con, played by Chaparro, gets a job as a substitute teacher so that he can dig out his loot, now buried under a new gym.

Produced by Francisco Gonzalez Compean’s Draco Films, “Compadres” will be Pantelion’s first wide release of the year, which translates to up to 400 screens in the top 75 U.S. Hispanic markets. The bi-lingual comedy penned by Ted Perkins and Gabriel Ripstein (“600 Miles”) takes place on both sides of the border.

Draco Films has an informal arrangement with Pantelion and a growing development slate that includes a romantic comedy by helmer/scribe Catalina Aguilar Mastretta whose feature debut “Las Horas Contigo” won a Fipresci award at Guadalajara’s 2014 edition where it had its world premiere.

Meanwhile Pantelion is likely going into production by late April or early May with “Latin Lover,” the next pic from Eugenio Derbez and partner Ben Odell’s 3pas Studios, which has a first-look deal with the company. Derbez, who gets his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on March 10, will play the titular Latino lothario in the comedy. American multi-hyphenate Ken Marino whose directing credits include sitcoms “The Goldbergs” and “Trophy Wife,” will helm the comedy.

Other pics on Pantelion’s 2016 release slate include English-language contagion horror pic “Summer Camp,” starring Diego Boneta. Pic is produced by Julio Fernandez’s Filmax , the Spanish company behind the “REC” franchise, Peter Safran’s the Safran Co. (“The Conjuring”) and Pantelion, which holds the rights to the Americas. “Summer Camp” helmer Alberto Marini’s Rebelion Terrestre co-produces while “REC” franchise co-director Jaume Balaguero serves as executive producer.

Pantelion will also release on May 13, and on approximately 50 screens, “Sundown,” directed by Fernando Lebrija (“Amar a morir”). Starring Camilla Belle, Karla Souza, Jordi Molla, Teri Hatcher, John Michael Higgins, Devon Werkheiser and Sean Marquette, and lead-produced by U.S.-based Irreversible Cinema, the romantic comedy tracks two high school seniors as they embark on an epic and priapic Spring Break in Mexico’s Puerto Vallarta. Title screens at this week’s Guadalajara Fest.

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