You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Cannes: Latido, Morena, Movistar + Team on Javier Fesser’s ‘Campeones’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Comedy marks a departure for Academy Award-nominated director (‘Binta and the Great Idea’)

MADRID — Madrid-based Latido Films has acquired worldwide sales rights outside Spain to “Campeones,” an anticipated comedy-drama directed by Academy Award-nominated Javier Fesser (“Binta and the Great Idea”) and produced by Morena Films (“Altamira,” “Cell 211,” “Comandante”). Telefonica pay TV division Movistar Plus and Fesser’s Películas Pendelton.

Universal Pictures Intl. (UPI), which has scored heavily with Spanish movies’ domestic release, will handle distribution in Spain.

In a sign of strong TV backing, the key to a film getting made on a  good budget these days in Spain, Movistar + and public broadcaster TVE have acquired pay and free-to-air rights respectively to Spain.

“Campeones” marks the fifth feature from a director whose “Mortadelo & Filemon: The Big Adventure” garnered €22.9 million ($25.0 million) in Spain in 2003, becoming one of its highest-grossing films ever.

An upscale mainstream director who has often championed marginalized or socially-challenged minorities in films which broke out to considerable audiences, Fesser won Oscar recognition for “Binta and the Great,” a medium-feature emphasizing the importance of education for kids in Africa.

Penned by Fesser and writer-director David Marqués (“Desechos”), who has a strong sense of Spanish social realism,  “Campeones” is a “comedy shot like a drama,” Fesser said, about a Spanish ACB League coach with emotional disabilities sentenced to training a basketball team whose players have a range of learning disabilities.

“At first, the work seems like hell for him. But it’s the team that ends up helping him to solve his own emotional handicaps,” Fesser said.

Spain’s Javier Gutierrez, who was excellent in Iciar Bollain’s “The Olive Tree” and won a best actor Spanish Academy Goya and Platino Award for his performance in Alberto Rodriguez’s “Marshland,” will play the coach who is given a life lesson in “Campeones.”

Javier Fesser is one of the greatest comedy talents in Europe,” added Antonio Saura, Latido Films’ executive director.

He continued: “In ‘Campeones,’ he tells us a story that will make us laugh and touch our hearts. He is the only director in Spain with the ability to touch you while make you laugh and think.”

Shot with real-life non-pro actors with special needs, “Campeones” is “an attempt at reinvention,” Fesser told Variety The only thing he had to do was turn the camera on the actors and shoot it in a direct manner, without the stylistic flourishes of much of his comedy work, he added.

“From cinematography to art direction, costumes, the film is anchored in reality. It’s passionate, highly entertaining, full of color. It wasn’t necessary to underscore or add anything,” Fesser said.

Currently in the fourth of an eight-week shoot in Madrid, “Campeones” will be ready for delivery first quarter 2018, said Morena Films producer Alvaro Longoria. who called “Campeones” a “feel-good comedy full of positive energy and humor, an ideal original combination for Javier Fesser.”

More TV

  • Olympics

    NBCUniversal Sets Molly Solomon to Oversee Olympics Production, Replacing Jim Bell

    NBC’s Tokyo Olympics has a new contestant. Molly Solomon, a veteran sports producer who has been with NBC since 1990, has been tapped as the new executive producer of NBCUniversal’s Olympics broadcast, one of the most important production jobs at the Comcast-owned media conglomerate. She begins her new role immediately, with just months to go [...]

  • Juliette Lewis, Christina Ricci Join Showtime

    Juliette Lewis, Christina Ricci Join Showtime 'Yellowjackets' Pilot

    Showtime’s “Yellowjackets” pilot is rounding out its cast. The network has announced that “Camping” star Juliette Lewis and original “Addams Family” actor Christina Ricci have boarded the project as series regulars, joining already announced cast members Melanie Lynskey, Tawny Cypress and Jasmin Savoy Brown. “Yellowjackets” tells the story of a team of talented high school [...]

  • Kevin Hart Fatherhood

    Kevin Hart Sets Netflix Docu-Series 'Don't F--k This Up'

    Kevin Hart is expanding his partnership with Netflix with a new six-part documentary series named “Don’t F–k This Up.” Hart’s Hartbeat Productions will produce alongside Lionsgate, Makemake, 3 Arts Entertainment, and Magical Elves, with the show set to debut on Netflix on Dec. 27.  It will follow the comedian’s day-to-day lifestyle as he tackles what [...]

  • Little Mermaid Live

    Live+7 Ratings for Week of Nov. 4: 'The Little Mermaid Live' Outswims the Competition

    “The Little Mermaid Live” continues to perform swimmingly in the TV ratings. The ABC musical topped all non-football shows for the week of Nov. 4, growing 34% from its Live+Same Day rating and 30% in total viewership to finish with a 3.4 and 11.7 million total viewers. That represents pretty substantial growth for a live [...]

  • Top Female Directors

    Record Number of TV Episodes Directed by Women or Directors of Color (Study)

    According to the Directors Guild of America, the TV industry has made major gains in terms of diversity. Half of all TV episodes in the 2018-19 season were directed by women or directors of color for the first time, according to a DGA report released on Tuesday. The DGA’s episodic television director inclusion report noted [...]

  • MSNBC Adds Joshua Johnson to Anchor

    MSNBC Adds Joshua Johnson to Anchor Ranks

    Joshua Johnson, a longtime public-radio host, is joining MSNBC as an anchor, and the network is expected to release the details of the program he will lead at a later date. Johnson is known for hosting the NPR program “1A,” and will continue to do so through December 20. The program, produced by Washington D.C.’s [...]

  • Commercials Ads Streaming Illustration Placeholder

    Banner Ads Bother. Pop-Ups Annoy. Streaming Wars Aim to Revive Them

    TV’s newest commercials are starting to look an awful lot like the web’s oldest. Any user of Amazon’s Fire set-top device might have recently stumbled upon an interactive on-screen graphic from Geico, the insurance company known for its heavy use of TV ads. In just 15 minutes, the company likes to claim, it can save [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content