Spanish studio Filmax refinancing debt

Digital, TV content production among priorities

MADRID -- Spanish mini-studio Filmax is refinancing its debt, unveiling an accord with 41 banking institutions company Tuesday that will see it earmark €25 million ($33.2 million) toward its annual investment in diversification and high-tech strategies.

Animation, genre projects and English-language films with budgets of about $13.3 million are the bread and butter of Filmax, but bolstering the digitalization of its theater chain and producing content for television sit high on the list of new ventures.

"We've already launched 3-D technology for the premiere of 'Monsters versus Aliens' in one of our theaters and it's a huge success," a Filmax spokesman said. "With the present global crisis, the decrease in broadcasters' budgets for rights acquisition and pirating, these are the new initiatives we need to invest in."

Filmax also plans to strengthen its Web site, yodecido.com, launched two months ago, allowing for legal downloads and streaming of the company's catalog.

Given the global crisis, not only is the diversification necessary, but getting the backing to enable liquidity is cause for celebration.

"We're grateful to all the implicated parties in this process since their support will allow us to continue backing talent and creativity, the pillars of the Filmax philosophy," Filmax CEO Carlos Fernandez said.

Filmax has handled the distribution of "Slumdog Millionionare," which has earned more than $13 million at the Spanish boxoffice and is set to release "Paintball" and "[Rec]2."
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