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Julio Medem’s ‘The Tree of Blood’ Picked up by FilmSharks Intl. (EXCLUSIVE)

Romantic thriller debuts at MIA and the AFM

Starring “La casa de papel’s” Ursula Corberó, “The Tree of Blood,” the latest movie from Spain’s Julio Medem, is being brought onto the international market at Rome’s MIA market by FilmSharks Intl., which has acquired world sales rights.

FilmSharks Intl. will continue introducing the film to buyers at the American Film Market, which opens Oct. 31 in Santa Monica.

The deal was negotiated by FilmSharks Intl.’s Guido Rud and Sandra Tapia, Ignasi Estapé and Ibon Cormenzana at the film’s lead producer Arcadia Motion Pictures (AMP).

A romantic thriller which Diamond Films Spain will release in Spain on Nov. 1 on over 200 locations, said FilmSharks’ Guido Rud, “The Tree of Blood” (El Arbol de la Sangre) marks the latest movie from the Cormenzana-founded (“Aloft,” “Blancanieves,” “Blackthorn”), and the ninth fiction feature of Medem, a director whose debut, 1991’s “Vacas,” helped bring down the flag on the modern Spanish cinema through its mix of Spanish referents and genre elements and, in industry terms, backing by one of Spain’s just-launched private TV operators, Prisa.

“The Tree of Blood” returns Medem to the themes of some of his best-known titles in its mix of seeming fatalism, sexual passion and atavistic violence, as it unfolds the tale of a young couple, Rebeca and Marc, who travel to a ancient family house which belonged to Marc’s family to reconstruct their family tree. Working out of the house, set in a fairy tale landscape of green valleys and limestone buffs, the deeper they dig the more they discover a collective history over the last 25 years of love, passion,insanity and infidelity behind which lies one mystery which threatens to destroy their own relationship.

The film also stars Álvaro Cervantes (“La Zona”), Medem regular Najwa Nimri (“Vis a Vis,” “Quién te cantará”), Ángela Molina (“Los abrazos rotos”), Daniel Grao (“Julieta”), Joaquín Furriel (“The Bronze Garden”), Patricia López Arnaiz (“La peste”) and Josep María Pou (“La catedral del Mar”).

Co-produced by Basque and Catalan public broadcasters ETB and TV3, plus Movistar +, the pay TV/VOD arm of Telefonica, “The Tree of Life” looks like one of the weightiest-budgeted Spanish titles hitting Spanish cinemas this year.

“We are very pleased to start our first collaboration with FilmSharks with ‘The Tree of Blood.’ Guido is so passionate about Medem’s work, and this film in particular, that we are sure he is the best person to present it on the markets,” Tapia, Estapé and Cormenzana said in a statement.

“Coming on board of latest film by the best Spanish director of all times is a dream come true. We have been chasing this since screenplay,” Rud added

“After a long bidding war, we managed to lock down a deal with the producers. We have high hopes in terms of the film’s global impact.”

Medem is the latest Spanish director to be represented by FilmSharks which has a longterm relationship with Santiago Segura, carving out an international market for his supposedly Spain-only “Torrente” film series, the biggest franchise in Spanish movie history. This year, FilmSharks took international rights to “Some Time Later,” José Luis Cuerda’s absurdist humored take on a far future that looks very much the world today, which world premiered at last month’s San Sebastian Film Festival in its Official Selection.

“Medem, Cuerda and Segura are name directors that like, have a hallmark style, and style, and international impact at a commercial level,” Rud said.

Backing titles such as Berlinale Golden Bear winner Claudia Llosa’s “Aloft,” which played Berlin, Sundance and Tribeca, “Blancanieves,” winner of 10 Spanish Academy Goya Awards in 2013, and “Blackthorn,” starring Sam Shepherd, Barcelona-based Arcadia Motion Pictures has maintained a considerable level of movie and TV production, despite plunging state subsidies in Spain, thanks to its leverage of national tax break instruments and energetic international co-productions and sales.

CREDIT: FilmSharks Intl.

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