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Madrid Pitchbox Welcomes Fresh Talent to New Edition

Larry Levene-produced “3 Astronauts,” Jorge Dorado and Ivan Sainz-Pardo’s “The Road of Life” and Gsus López’s “Story at Dawn” figure among the seven finalists at the fifth edition of Pitchbox, a films-in-development showcase organized in Madrid by online platform Filmarket Hub. Taking place May 22, the event encourages new film talent discovery — and it gives Madrid a new line in co-production forums as well.

The projects will be pitched in front of a select group of executives from key Spain-based film companies, among them Atresmedia Cine, Telecinco Cinema, RTVE, Avalon, DeAPlaneta, TriPictures and Dynamo. After the pitch fest, the participants meet in a networking session.

“The companies can know first-hand a wide-ranging project selection which has already been filtered and analyzed, giving them direct access to the best emerging talent through an entertaining event format,” says Filmarket Hub co-founder Bernardo Gómez.

With more than 12,000 users across Europe and Latin America, Filmarket Hub aims to link film and TV projects with producers, broadcasters, OTT services, sales agents and distributors around the world, bringing them visibility, and boosting new production deals.

“The Pitchbox event marks an excellent opportunity to make public a sample of the best projects hosted by Filmarket Hub,” Gómez says.

The type of projects companies are looking for suggests several trends about Spain’s film sector: Some projects dovetail with the tastes of private broadcasters and OTT services. A larger number target international co-production or pre-sales deals; there’s an abundance of thrillers for niche audiences, and films directed or written by women.

A regular partner on Spanish features linked to Asia, such as 3D animated film “Dragonkeeper,” Levene produces comedy-adventure “3 Astronauts,” directed by Cristina Trenas and Isabel Delclaux, about three friends unsatisfied with their privileged lives in Madrid, who take off on a backpacking trip to rural China.

Jorge Dorado, whose 2013 feature debut, “Mindscape,” was produced by Ombra Films and handled by Studiocanal, teams with multi-awarded short filmmaker Sainz-Pardo on “The Road of Life,” an adventure drama thriller set in 1941 Leningrad as it’s under German siege.

Inspired by Ivan Zaro’s book “The Difficult Easy Life,” López’s LGBT drama “Story at Dawn,” a U.K. co-production, follows an aspiring actor facing a new life as a gay escort.

Further finalists are “Two Friends,” a romantic comedy by Roberto Goñi, Laura Molpeceres and Raquel Márquez; Rodolfo F. Carnevale’s Argentine co-production drama “Mrs. Lambert”; Roberto Ruiz Céspedes’ thriller “Seed and Fence,” executive produced by Belén Bernuy (“The Night of the Sunflowers”); and Inés Pintor and Pablo Santidrián’s road movie “A Tale Before Going to Sleep.”

Since its first edition in Barcelona in 2014, Pitchbox has grown in size and reputation.

Filmarket Hub also organizes Sitges Pitchbox, specializing in genre films, hosted by Catalonia’s Sitges Film Festival, whose 2017 edition was emceed by Guillermo del Toro.

Success stories include César Esteban Alenda’s time-traveling tale “Sin Fin,” selected at Sitges Pitchbox last year, where it inked international sales and Spanish distribution rights with Filmax.

In December, Madrid’s TV Pitchbox focused on drama series, attracting companies such as Amazon and HBO España, both driving hard into the acquisition or production of Spanish series.

Filmarket Hub now has its sights set on expansion, looking to grow abroad.

Says Gómez:. “We hope to announce very soon new TV Pitchbox editions in London and Mexico.”

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