Antena 3 Films taps Mercedes Gamero

Will continue as head of acquisitions on broadcast side

MADRID -- Spanish film and TV executive Mercedes Gamero has been appointed GM of Antena 3 Films, the film production arm of commercial broadcaster Antena 3.

Gamero replaces veteran producer Tedy Villalba, who is leaving Antena 3 to set up his own production company, which will handle production activities for the broadcaster for the next few years.

The appointment, announced Monday, sees Gamero, who will maintain her position as head of acquisitions on the broadcasting side, jump to one of the most powerful film and television positions in the Spanish industry.

Under Spanish law, television broadcasters are required to invest 5% of their overall revenue in domestic film and television production. In 2008, that meant Antena 3 earmarked some 50 million euros ($70 million) for film production.

Antena 3 raked in 4.68 million euros from its 11 features at the Spanish boxoffice last year. So far in 2008, two productions from Antena 3 Films -- "Chef's Special" and "Mortadelo and Filemon" -- have performed well domestically, earning 5 million euros ($7 million) and 7.7 million euros ($10.8 million), respectively.

Even so, feature films rarely prove profitable for broadcasters, and Antena 3 launched a new line of production in 2007 focused on films for television and miniseries.

The company's upcoming production slate boasts three miniseries: Manuel Palacios' biopic "Marisol," Robert Bodegas' look at the last days of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco, "20-N," and Daniel Carparsoro's school yard drama "El Castigo."