Confab to connect Madrid-L.A. film biz


MADRID -- Film and TV producers from Madrid will meet with U.S. distribution and production companies in the first Madrid-Los Angeles Entertainment Media Forum, an initiative designed to foment co-production and distribution opportunities via bilateral meetings, organizers announced Wednesday.

The event, which will take place Oct. 30-31 at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Century City, is sponsored by Madrid regional public relations firm PromoMadrid, Madrid business confederation CEIM and Spain's audiovisual producers association, FAPAE.

"The Madrid region has one of the world's highest concentrations of talented and experienced film, TV and music producers as well as offering some of the most attractive opportunities for creation of audiovisual work," FAPAE general manager Fabia Buenaventura said in a statement.

The forum has attracted more than a dozen Spanish companies presenting their latest projects.

"The forum is primarily designed with young producers from small- or medium-sized companies in mind in an effort to give them the opportunity to do business abroad, specifically with the U.S.," FAPAE international relations chief Maria Jose Vadillo said.

One producer who will participate in the new event is Patrick Juarez of Intuition Media, who is attending to advance his ?6.5 million ($8.1 million), English-language thriller "Fragmented," a co-production with Abaco Films.

"In addition to searching for co-production possibilities, I'm going to try to lead Intuition Media into becoming a major force in bringing U.S. actors or Latino actors based in the U.S. to Spanish films being shot in English," Juarez said in an interview.

Juarez is one of many young producers in Madrid that applaud the new forum.

"The minute you see there is a market for English-language Spanish production like "The Others," you need to jump on it," Juarez said. "Right now, the U.S. is looking for projects in Europe that are lower budget with a potential for boxoffice success."

Madrid forum participants are likely to extend their stay to attend the American Film Market in Santa Monica along with the rest of the Spanish industry.