Atresmedia Cine, one of Spain’s biggest film production companies, has tapped David Pérez Sañudo, writer-director of “Ane,” the country’s biggest first feature breakout of 2020, to write and direct a new movie, an adaptation of Felix García Hernán’s “Cava dos fosas.”

Part of Spain’s Buendía Estudios, a 50/50 joint venture between broadcaster Atresmedia and pay TV/SVOD giant Movistar Plus, Atresmedia Cine has optioned in exclusivity rights to the novel.

News of Pérez Sañudo’s second feature comes on the eve of the Spanish Academy’s 35th Goya Awards where “Ane” is nominated in five categories – best picture, new director, actress, adapted screenplay, supporting actress – a measure of the industry impact that “Ane” has achieved since its world premiere at September’s San Sebastian Film Festival. Pérez Sañudo was selected by Variety in this week’s Berlin coverage as one of Spain’s 2021 10 talents to track.

Felix García Hernán burst onto the scene early last year with the publication of “Cava dos fosas,” described as a crime thriller of brutal force which interweaves two times – 1980s Spain, a few years after Francisco Franco’s dictatorship, and the present – in a story of vengeance, conceived in the past and consummated in the present.

“Cava dos fosas” was nominated for Spain’s 3rd crime novel Noir and Fatal Prize and won the best new author award at the 2020 Estandarte Prizes.

Set to shoot this year, “Cava dos fosas” will premiere in 2022, said Mercedes Gamero, Atresmedia Cine CEO.

“There’s one thing that interests me most about ‘Cava dos fosas’: Its addressing a convulsed time, which still needs more analysis, when the legacy of Francoism still feeds into many of the practices of different bodies and institutions, and which still echo down to the present,” said Perez Sañudo.

He added: “This ambience, dark presence, doesn’t only infects the collective, but permeates society, affecting its characters.”

“As the acclaimed and prized ‘Ane’ demonstrates, this project couldn’t be in better hands,” García added.

A confident, multi-level mother-daughter relationship tale set against the background of the construction of a high-speed train network in Bilbao, “Ane” underscored García Sañudo’s capacity to meld drama and thriller, social and personal barriers, psychology observance and historical period, in a movie of style and substance.

That skill set should stand him in good stead when adapting “Cava dos fosas,” a feature film project that marks part of drive by Atresmedia Cine into upscale genre – here a crime thriller – that goes beyond the local comedies which have come increasingly to dominate Spain’s box office.

“People sometimes think Atresmedia Cine only produces local comedies,” Gamero said at San Sebastian. “Our slate is much broader,” she countered.