Antena 3 beefing up slate

Spanish b'caster adds diverse pics

Period dramas, comic book characters and Woody Allen are all part of Antena 3's 2007 film slate, the Spanish commercial broadcaster said Wednesday.

Alejandro Toledo's "Independencia" will re-create Zaragoza's fight to defend the Spanish city's freedom from Napolean's invasion. The film is scheduled to coincide with Expo 2008 in Zaragoza and the bicentennial of Spain's war for independence.

The second historic feature is Antonio Hernandez's follow-up to the epic "Los Borgia," titled "Garbo," based on the life of a Spanish special agent working with the British during World War II. Budget details and shooting dates for the new slate were not available Wednesday.

The broadcaster also has taken a stake in Allen's upcoming Spain project, set to star Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem and Scarlett Johansson in a co-production with Mediapro that begins shooting in the summer in Barcelona.

Antena 3 also will co-produce the second installment of the boxoffice hit "Mortadelo y Filemon" with On pictures.

Next up, the TV channel plans to produce three projects aimed at a broad commercial audience. Nacho Garcia Velilla, creator of the hit series "Aida" and "7 Lives," will try his hand at feature film directing with "Xantarella," starring Lola Duenas, Javier Camara and Fernando Tejero.

The broadcaster also plans to create the miniseries "Futuro: 48 Horas," based on the last 48 hours in the life of a local politician assassinated by the ETA terrorist group in 1997, which mobilized all of Spain in protest.

The broadcaster, which this week renewed its sponsorship of the Malaga Spanish Film Festival through 2010, said it will actively seek to foment the discovery of new directors.
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