The Spanish Film Screenings 2012 was busy despite lower attendance due to the economic crisis. I Want You, Unit 7, Operation E and The Artist And The Model were among the biggest draws.

The organisation’s top brass slashed the budget by 50% and did not pay for air fares in order to mount the event this year. Sixty-eight buyers from 26 countries and 55 different companies attended. “We have all have made a great effort to save Madrid de Cine”, Vicente Canales said of the 2012 iteration.

The market was busy and there was sales activity on more than 50 titles. Canales Film Factory sold police action thriller Unit 7 to HBO and was in talks to close a deal with Miami based Somos T.V. The latter was also poised to acquire The Pelayos, Puzzled Love, Codigo 60 and La Senda.

The Pelayos was one of several hot draws and at time of writing Mexico’s Quality Films was in pursuit.

Imagina reported a great response to I Want You, the sequel to 3 Meters Above Heaven and arguably the hit of the market. I Want You has drawn approximately 800,000 admissions in Spain in less than one week in release. Russia’s Carmen Films snapped it up and plan to release on 200 prints.

Also in play was Fin, the new feature by Agora producers Mod Productions. Dragon Films is poised to acquire Spanish-speaking territories while Playarte is in talks to take Brazilian rights. Wisener Distribution from Puerto Rico is understood to be close to a deal.

“We had a great Madrid de Cine,” Beatriz Setuain of Imagina International Sales said. “The people who were really interested in buying were there and we closed very interesting deals and almost finished others. We are very happy. The organisation did more with less”.

6 sales has enjoyed a strong response to As Luck Would Have It and is negotiating with buyers from Japan and Germany. Amigos is in negotiations for Germany, France, Poland and Turkey and Lo Mejor de Eva for Poland France and Japan. Fernando Trueba’s The Artist And The Model starring Jean Rochefort held great appeal for Benelux, Switzerland, Germany and Slovenia.

DeaPlaneta has betted strongly on Operation E, an action drama about Colombia guerrillas that screened well. A nine-minute promo of The Body, a psychological thriller that will open the next Sitges Festival, was also in demand. “There is a great expectation for the final cut in Toronto,” Gorka de Bilbao said.

“We closed no deals this year but an event like that is very important for public relations,” de Bilbao added. “I think that it was good to close ties with buyers. It is true that there have been less [buyers], but you could feel that they had done their homework. We could see a clear intention and motivation to see the product”.

Filmax International Sales is moving into advanced negotiations on several titles. The Wild Boys is poised to sell to Germany and Poland while Berlinale screener Childish Games is understood to be closing in Poland. The animation Snowflake, The White Gorilla is bound for France, No Rest For The Wicked to the UK and Rec 3 to Italy.

Filmax head of sales Iván Díez said: “Madrid de Cine is very established as a market at this point and despite the [lower] attendance of buyers we did good business. The date is perfect because it’s one month after Cannes and some clients can see the films in a more quiet environment”. 

Vertice Sales took advantage of the positive response at the Shanghai Film Festival to Chrysalis. “People went crazy about it in China and we noticed an immediate interest,” Alex la Fuente said. Negotiations are ongoing for France, China, Poland and Germany.

Vertice recently shifted its market strategy to focus on arthouse product such as Chrysalis but also reported a strong response to production titles like horror-comedy Wolves Of Arga.

Reel Flow is dealing with buyers from the US, Poland and Turkey on Cruz Del Sur and talks are ongoing with the US, UK and Germany for Panzer Chocolate with Germany, US and UK. Reel Flow also commenced pre-sales on The Attic.

Madrid de Cine ran from Jun 18-20.