The first edition of theSpanish Film Screenings of Madrid (June 18-20) closed Tuesday night with astronger turnout than the six previous editions of its predecessor in Lanzarote.
More than 100 of theexpected 105 buyers from 37 countries travelled to Madrid, where 51 recent Spanish features screened and anadditional 100-plus catalogue titles were available on video.
Numerous sales wereannounced during the three-day event, including a deal which consortium Latido Films says was negotiated by telephone withPalm Pictures for all rights in the US on executive recruitment drama The Gronholm Method (El Metodo).
Latido announced more than 20 sales on its handful offilms, including on Jose Luis Cuerda's new The Education Of AFairy (La Educacion De Las Hadas)starring Ricardo Darin and Irene Jacob, which sold to Mexico's Quality Films and Brazil's Europa Filmes, among other distributors.
Educationwas one of only a few truly new products on show in Madrid, the most oft heard critique of the Screenings thisyear. "People come all this way, they shouldn't be shown rehashed product," asone participant put it. Otherwise, the event earned high marks for its organisation,the appreciated move to more accessible Madrid and its change of dates to post-Cannes, pre-LondonUK Film Focus.
Filmax's Timothy Hutton-starrer The Kovak Box,also new, sold to Scandinavia's Nonstop, whichadditionally picked up animated feature TheHairy Tooth Fairy. Fairy alsosold to Paradiso for Benelux.
From Kevin Williams, Nonstop picked up catalogue Pedro Almodovartitle Labyrinth OfPassion (Laberinto De Pasiones),which Williams has also sold to Tartan for the UK and Lucky Red for Italy.
In addition to sales,Screenings organisers brought in producers from across Europe for the first time for a lively roundtable conference and day ofnetworking to encourage co-productions with Spain.
The Madrid government threw its weight behind the event, withboth the city's mayor and the region's president headlining elegant cocktailreceptions for participants. Sales and production companies threw their own,well-attended late-night bashes.
Taking a cue from Madrid, the ConsorcioAudiovisual, the film promotional body for the Galicia region of Spain, is now planning its own two-day event in September.They plan to fly international press and festival representatives into town toscreen new Galician feature films and showcase the region as a location foroffshore film shoots.