You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Sony Pictures Spain, Enrique Cerezo, TVE Pact for ‘1898, Our Last Men’

Film Factory to show early footage from adventure pic to international buyers at November's AFM

MADRID — Sony Pictures Spain has acquired all Spanish distribution rights to real-event-based adventure pic “1898, Our Last Men in the Philippines,” produced by Spain’s Enrique Cerezo and one of the first big modern mainstream films in modern Spain to sing the virtues of at least a reduced number of Spanish heroes, set here at a time of national defeat.

Spain’s film establishment is normally highly critical with its establishment, and its figures, born out by such local B.O. hits as swashbuckler “Alatriste,” starring Viggo Mortensen, set in a seventeenth century Madrid and an acerbic take on Spain’s loss of empire.

Backed by Spanish state TV network TVE and the recently-launched nationwide private channel 13TV, the film underscores once more the crucial role played by TV broadcasters in local film financing schemes.

Vicente Canales’ Film Factory Entertainment, the sales agent of Damian Szifron’s “Wild Tales” and Pablo Trapero’s “The Clan,” handles international sales rights to “1898,” one of the most ambitious features coming out of Spain this year.

According to Canales, Film Factory will show “1898’s” first footage to international buyers at November’s American Film Market. A multi-generational Spanish cast, directed by first-time helmer Salvador Calvo, is led by Luis Tosar and Javier Gutierrez, stars respectively of Spanish sales breakouts “Cell 211” and “Marshland.”

Karra Elejalde, star of local B.O. juggernauts “Spanish Affair” and “Spanish Affair 2,” Eduard Fernandez (“The Skin I Live In,” “Biutiful”) and Carlos Hipolito (“The Department of Time”) also topline.

Also in the cast are younger thesps whose fame has been forged on local primetime TV dramas such as Alvaro Cervantes (“Carlos, King Emperor”), Ricardo Gomez (“Remember When”), Patrick Criado (“Red Eagle”) and Emilio Palacios (“El Principe”), plus Miguel Herran, winner of the Goya for best breakthrough performance in “A cambio de nada.”

Patriotism has been relatively rare in Spanish films since the heydays of Francoist era movies which briefly exalted national virtues in the 1940s and early 1950s, when a first version of “Los ultimos de Filipinas” was filmed in 1944, to large box office success.

Penned by Cuban scribe Alejandro Hernandez (“Cannibal”), “1898” is a modern take on a clutch of Spanish troops’ survival of a 11-month 1898-99 siege in the Spanish-American War, which marked the final days of the last high-profile colony in Spain’s Empire.

Among the last fifty Spaniards in Philippines, the troops suffered all illness and deprivation, barricaded inside a church in the small village of Baler, on Luzon island and attacked by the country’s indigenous Tagalog troops.

Filming from May 9 in Guinea, then on locations in the Canary Islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria, “1898” completed early July a nine-week shoot. Spanish d.p. Alex Catalan (“Marshland,” “A Perfect Day”) serves as cinematographer.

Enrique Cerezo, producer of the two most recent movies from Alex de la Iglesia, “Witching and Bitching,” “My Big Night,” heads the project, which is produced  by Cerezo’s CIPI Cinematografica and Manila Producciones.

“I’ve had this project in mind for years,” Cerezo said in a statement. “To produce ‘1898’ is one of the greatest satisfactions a film producer can have, and to rebuild Baler is one of the most important events in Spanish production history,” he added.

“There is a wide range of audiences that will enjoy this great production, regardless of their greater or lesser knowledge of this controversial episode in the history of Spain,” said Ivan Losada, managing director at Sony Pictures Spain, calling “1898” a “primarily epic title.”

John Hopewell contributed to this article.

More TV

  • EMPIRE: L-R: Toby Onwumere and Jussie

    Jussie Smollett's 'Empire' Character Ties the Knot as Actor's Future on Show Is Unclear

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched the April 24th episode of “Empire.” Jussie Smollett’s character on “Empire” got married in TV’s first-ever black, gay wedding, but the actor’s ongoing assault controversy makes his future on the show uncertain. The episode, entitled “Never Doubt I Love,” was Smollett’s last confirmed appearance in [...]

  • Riverdale -- "Chapter Thirty-Three: Shadow of

    'Riverdale' Airs Luke Perry's Final Scene

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Chapter Fifty-Four: Fear The Reaper,” the April 24 episode of “Riverdale.” “Riverdale” has aired late actor Luke Perry’s final scene as Andrews patriarch Fred. In “Chapter Fifty-Four: Fear the Reaper,” the 19th episode of the third season of “Riverdale,” Archie (KJ Apa) was worried about [...]

  • "We Turn Up This Music Louder

    TV Review: 'The Red Line'

    For all that broadcast TV’s power has attenuated in recent years, what they choose to put on still means something — and, from a certain point of view, something more than the choices made by prestige outlets. After all, the reach of broadcasters is without parallel. They’re simply in that many more homes than prestige [...]

  • Grey's Anatomy Season 15

    Broadcast Bubble Shows 2019: What's Coming Back, What’s Not

    While many broadcast shows have already been picked up for next season, plenty of favorites are still waiting to learn their fates. Given that the broadcasters are currently evaluating this year’s crop of comedy and drama pilots, some current shows will unfortunately have to shuffle off to that great network in the sky, where they [...]

  • Elizabeth Olsen Wanda Vision

    Elizabeth Olsen Says Disney+ Series 'WandaVision' Is Set in 1950s

    “Avengers: Endgame” star Elizabeth Olsen tells Variety that “WandaVision,” the forthcoming Disney+ series about her superhero character, Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch, will be set in the 1950s. “There’s quite a few other comic books that we’re pulling from and it’s going to be Wanda and the Vision, and I think at the Disney+ launch chat, they [...]


    CBS Chiefs: Former Exec's Claim Network 'Has a White Problem' Is 'Disheartening,' 'Painful'

    Susan Zirinsky, president of CBS News, and Kelly Kahl, president of CBS Entertainment, sent emails to staff Tuesday expressing concern over claims made in an essay published in Variety in which CBS veteran Whitney Davis detailed racist discrimination and sexual harassment she witnessed and was subjected to at the network. In response, Zirinsky said Davis’ [...]

  • BBC Studios Making Prince Charles Series

    BBC Studios Making Prince Charles Series for ITV

    ITV has greenlit a BBC Studios-produced series about Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne. “Inside the Duchy” (working title) will follow the Prince of Wales over two one-hour episodes to mark his 50th year as the holder of the title of Duke of Cornwall. The producers said the series will give an unprecedented [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content