SAN SEBASTIAN — Warner Bros. Pictures Intl. has grabbed near-worldwide distribution rights to “El Verano Que Vivimos,” a romantic melodrama directed by “Fariña” Carlos Sedes and co-produced with Atresmedia Cine, Bambú Producciones and La Claqueta.
One of the most awaited local releases of next year, “El Verano Que Vivimos” rolls from August for nine weeks in Jerez de la Frontera and one week in Galicia. It is scheduled for a fall 2020 theatrical release.
In Spain, Warner will handle theatrical rights, while Amazon Prime nabbed rights to a first pay TV window. Private broadcaster Atresmedia, Atresmedia Cine’s sister company, will exploit a first window in free-to-air.
“Warner has the rest of worldwide rights,” Warner Bros. Pictures Intl. Spain managing director Pablo Nogueroles told Variety.
“El Verano Que Vivimos” was presented Sunday at the San Sebastian Film Festival in a press conference that also served to unveil the ambitious plans for feature production by powerful Spanish TV drama production house Bambú Producciones, minority owned by Studiocanal.
“We have a very important track record in TV drama production but we want to make the move into cinema. We are here to stay. It is such a strong commitment that we’ll soon launch a unit dedicated to film production,” Bambú co-founder Teresa Fernández-Valdes announced.
Starring Blanca Suárez (“Cable Girls”), Javier Rey (“Fariña”) and Pablo Molinero (“The Plague”), “El Verano Que Vivimos” is structured as a romance bridging two different times, a resource seen in classic movies such as “The Bridges of Madison County” and “Out of Africa,” and more recently in Spain’s “Palm Trees in The Snow.”
Threading 1950s and 1990s timelines, the film narrates an impossible love story set in the Jerez sherry trade.
Written by Bambú’s Ramón Campos, Javier Chacártegui, Salvador S. Molina, Gema R. Neira and David Orea, the script is partially inspired by real-life facts.
The creators read a story about a man that wrote every year in a Spanish newspaper an obituary dedicated to his deceased wife in which he related everything that she had missed in those 12 months. They changed the meaning so that the obituaries related “what they had lived that summer.”
In the film, mysterious obituaries arrive at the hands of a young journalist, who can guess a story of love, friendship and betrayal that happened in the vineyards of Jerez during the summer of 1958. A immortal love whose protagonists, although forty years have passed, don’t want to forget.
“Although it is a story that takes place in Jerez, it shows universal concepts that happen everywhere. Today, we see that Spanish-language contents are traveling very well. We also have actors such as Blanca and Javier who have become stars through the SVOD market, already being references beyond Spain,” Nogueroles said.
Historical epic “Palm Trees,” one of the sources of inspiration for “El Verano Que Vivimos,” was co-produced by Atresmedia Cine and Warner Bros. in 2015, snagging a standout €17 million ($18.7 million) B.O. in Spain.
“There’s an underserved female theatrical audience for these kind of movies. Cinema has become very polarized, and content for adults has stopped being made” said Mercedes Gamero, Atresmedia Cine CEO.
Bambú’s new movie division aims to produce three-to-five features every two years.
A second project filmed this year by Bambú has been a buzzed-up Madrid-set horror movie “Malasaña 32,” for which it’s teamed again with Warner Bros. and Atresmedia Cine. Studiocanal handles international sales.
With its bet on dipping its toe into film production, Bambú goes against a global tide.
“I think that when everyone is looking to produce TV fiction, we are starting to neglect a market like film, that is very important because all the platforms need to be nourished by movies in some way,” Bambú co-founder Campos said.