Spain's Morena cooking

"Appetit,’" "Flesh" highlight prod’n sked

MADRID -- Spanish production house Morena announced a string of new projects just ahead of its "Che" world premiere Wednesday, including David Pinillos' directorial debut "Bon Appetit" and Paco Cabezas' "Neon Flesh."

Two of Europe's hottest up-and-coming actors, Unax Ugalde ("Che" and "Love in Times of Cholera") and Nora Tschirner (German blockbuster "Rabbit Without Ears") are teamingbup in Pinillos' romantic comedy "Appetit."

"Bon Appetit" tells the story of three young cooks from different European countries who share their passion for cooking in a Swiss avant-garde restaurant.

Morena Films and Orio Produkzioak from Spain, Egoli Tossell from Germany and Zodiac Pictures from Switzerland co-produce the 3 million euros ($6 million) film that Beta Cinema is selling internationally and Eurimages is supporting. The film, which will film in all three countries, begins an eight-week shoot in October.

Mandarin Films has thrown its considerable French clout into Morena's next project, "Neon Flesh," a fast-paced comedy.

The 3.6 million euros ($7.2 million) "Flesh" follows Cabezas' cult horror flm "The Appeared," due to be released by IFC in the U.S. ThinkFilm sold Cabeza's directorial debut -- an official selection at Edinburgh this summer -- to more than 20 territories.

"We're very happy to continue our working relationship with Mandarin, especially since this is a clear sign that if you work with a talented director, horror is not the only Spanish-language genre that can travel across borders," Morena Films producer Juan Gordon said.

Victoria Abril and Oscar Jaenada star in the Spanish-langugage film, which will shoot for 10 weeks in November.

Sweden's Hepp Films and Film I Vast also are co-producing the film, along with Spain's Jaleo Films, De Palacio, Vaca Films and Oberon Cinematografica.

A tender mother-son love story, "Flesh" is about a 22-year-old hustler-turned-aspiring entrepreneur, who tries to put together a brothel in one month, hoping for his mother's respect. With the help of his two useless buddies, Ricky has to map out a business plan that pushes him into a host of hilarious situations.