Pedro Almodovar's eagerly anticipated new film Talk To Her (Hable Con Ella) will not receive its world premiere at one of this year's top film festivals as might be expected. Instead promotion will focus initially on just three key European territories so that the director can get back to work on his next project, the long-gestating Bad Education (La Mala Educacion).

'The 'leitmotif' of our releasing strategy is a concentration on the principal territories in order to free Pedro from promotion,' explains Agustin Almodovar, executive producer of brother Pedro's films through their Madrid-based production house El Deseo. The idea, he says, is 'to employ less time in promotion and more time on a project which he already has very alive and very developed.'

Almodovar was preparing Education and Talk simultaneously when he finally announced that Talk would come first. Since then he is understood to have reworked the script for Education, earlier billed as the story of two boys in the Spanish Catholic school system of the 1960's and 1970's. Production should get underway in the spring of 2003, and financing may follow the model of the Euros 6.5m Talk as a 100% El Deseo production.

Talk might have been considered a virtual shoo-in for a May slot at the Cannes Film Festival, the launching pad for Almodovar's previous global hit All About My Mother (Todo Sobre Mi Madre), but instead the film will roll out in Spain on March 15, Italy on March 29 and France on April 10 after opening the Paris Film Festival on April 1. Three premieres in under four weeks, in the European triad where Almodovar's films are considered blockbuster events and distributed well beyond the arthouse circuit.

Talk stars Rosario, Leonor Watling, Javier Camera and Dario Grandinetti as, in order, a female bullfighter, a convalescent ballerina, a male nurse and an Argentinean journalist struggling against loneliness and the wounds of passion.

The film is sold by Good Machine International with Sony Pictures Classics (SPC) owning North American rights. France, UK and Benelux were licensed directly to Pathe by El Deseo.