A new Spanish release about a hard-partying group of college-aged kids, appropriately called La Fiesta, has taken the Spanish box office by surprise and could convert its directors into poster children for struggling filmmakers in Spain.
Shot on a budget of less than Euros 6,000 with a crew of unpaid actors and technicians, La Fiesta almost never made it to screens. "It was a very long process and we had everything against us," says Carlos "Pocho" Villaverde, co-writer, director and producer of the film with Manuel Sanabria, who together spent a year seeking distribution.
Now the film has taken in Euros 451,000 after its second weekend on a 100 print theatrical release through Buena Vista International Spain (BVIS).
"La Fiesta is unique among Spanish movies," suggests BVIS vice president Alvaro Zapata, who liked the film so much upon his first viewing that he signed a contract the next day to pump 150,000 Euros into post-production and take distribution rights in Spain.
"It is fresh and current, with hilarious real-to-life characters you rarely see in Spanish films and language that kids really use today."
Helping spread the word, Zapata says the p&a spend has been comparable to BVIS's campaign last summer for The Other Side Of The Bed (El Otro Lado De La Cama). Bed, which premieres next week in the US, went on to become the top-grossing local film last year in Spain.