Sony scores Spanish hat trick

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MADRID -- Columbia Films Production Spain is teaming with Spanish production houses Morena Films and Estudios Picasso to co-produce an as-yet-untitled soccer-based comedy starring Guillermo Toledo and Javier Gutierrez.

The film, Sony's third local Spanish production after "Di Que Si" and "Melissa P.," will be directed by Alvaro Fernandez Armero, based on his screenplay co-written with Juan Cavestany. Sony Pictures Releasing International will release the film in Spain and handle worldwide distribution.

The €2.8 million ($3.6 million) film, which began shooting Oct. 30 in Madrid and Andalucia, will be produced by Morena's Pedro Uriol with Picasso's Belen Atienza and Columbia's senior vp of European productions Iona De Macedo overseeing production on behalf of their respective companies.

This is the fifth feature co-produced or co-financed by the European division of Columbia Tristar Motion Picture Group's local-language production arm.

The film tells the story of Jose Luis Perez, a referee in the extremely competitive Spanish professional soccer league whose reputation is in jeopardy as a result of a series of controversial decisions. Still in love with his ex-wife, he finds out she has a new lover and must now travel for the last and decisive match of the season with his best linesman and loyal friend, who has his own shameful secret.
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