Five Indie Production Shingles Shaping the Future of the Spanish Film Sector

Apaches’ Belen Atienza, left, and Enrique Lopez Lavigne, with producer Jesus de la Vega

Apaches Entertainment/Belen Atienza and Enrique Lopez Lavigne

Producers Lopez Lavigne ("28 Weeks Later") and Atienza, exec producer on "Che" and "Pan's Labyrinth," joined forces in 2009 to launch Apaches Entertainment, which has come on the scene like gangbusters. While Telecinco Cinema co-produced Apaches' first project, Eduardo Chapero-Jackson's thriller "Verbo," Universal is in on Juan Carlos Fresnadillo's upcoming "Intruders" and Summit Entertainment is backing Juan Antonio Bayona's "The Impossible." "We look to develop projects with international partners in each phase of the process -- with particular interest in creative design -- and to serve as a bridge between talent, studios and independents," Lopez Lavigne says.

Morena Films/Juan Gordon, Alvaro Longoria and Pedro Uriol

This past year saw Morena's co-production "Cell 211" sweep the Goya Awards and "Even the Rain" snag the Spanish nomination for a foreign-language Oscar. And that's after more than 40 films in the past decade, including co-producing Steven Soderbergh's two-part biopic about Che Guevara. "We have a clear focus on quality commercial fare which can be intended for the theatrical audiences but also for broadcasters." Next up is the romantic comedy "Bon Appetite," Paco Cabezas' sexy "Neon Flesh" and Dominik Moll's $15 million thriller "The Monk."

Zeta Audiovisual/Francisco Ramos

With his finger on the pulse of hip urbanites, Ramos has spearheaded Spain's market-friendly production trend. In April, he signed a production deal with media conglomerate Zeta Group that backs him with deep corporate pockets. The result is a slate of four mainstream titles: Vicente Villanueva's romantic comedy "Lo Contrario al Amor," Enrique Urbizu's "Armas y Conversaciones," based on a novel by Manuel Cerdan, Javier Fesser's 3D extravaganza "Mortadelo y Filemon" and Marcelo Pineyro's "Ismael," set to shoot in fall 2011. Ramos intends to develop other major comic books from Zeta's publishing arm. "This is not just a plan, this is a long-term commitment by Antonio Asensio and myself to create the most successful franchises with Zeta's comic book properties, to develop teen and young adults' urban entertainment, with young and upcoming directors and to work with top notch directors," Ramos says.

Mod Producciones/Fernando Bovaira

Few in the Spanish industry command as much respect as Bovaira. When he walked away from Sogecine in 2007, the company was the uncontested production titan, boasting a catalog of projects that includes some of the biggest names in Spanish cinema. Bovaira's international clout, forged during various stints in the U.S., helped pave way for his new company to aim high with ambitious projects. Mod's first production -- Alejandro Amenabar's "Agora" -- was Spain's top-grossing box office hit last year.

Rodar y Rodar/Joaquin Padro & Mar Targarona

International success with Juan Antonio Bayona's "The Orphanage" cemented Rodar y Rodar's status as horror specialists, which has been reinforced by a reteaming with Guillermo del Toro to co-produce the chiller "Julia's Eyes," which played well in Toronto. Next up for the Barcelona-based producer is a co-production with Canada's Rue Morgue Cinema, "Cut-throats Nine" and a $7 million horror outing titled "El Hombre Hueco," with "Julia's" writing-directing twosome Guillem Morales and Oriol Paolo. "We put particular effort in identifying scriptwriting talent, developing scripts from ground zero and identifying new directors," Rodar y Rodar topper Padro says.

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