Miramax Films has terminatedits relationship with Spain's Lauren Films and is moving ahead with a newstrategy for releasing its films in the territory, the company's COO Rick Sandstold ScreenDaily yesterday.

Sands was responding tostatements made by Lauren's new COO Francesc Guardans which claimed that Lauren is stilllooking to salvage its relationship with Miramax from which it has bought anddistributed several packages of movies over the years.

"We never had an output dealwith Lauren Films," said Sands. "All the movies they acquired from us are backwith us and all the films they had bought from us which haven't yet come uplike Kill Bill and Spy Kids3-D."

Sands also said that Miramaxhas taken back video and TV rights to Chicago, which Lauren released theatrically.

In response to Guardans'comments that he wants to work on the relationship with Miramax, Sands said:"Working at the relationship with Miramax would be paying the debts theyincurred."

Instead Miramax is in theprocess of exploring distribution with studio organisations in Spain which Sandssays will entail a theatrical deal with one company and video and TV handled byanother. He would not confirm reports that UIP and Universal were the primecontenders, and confirmed that he was in discussions with sister company BuenaVista International (BVI) which is partnered with Miramax in the UK, Italy andAustralia/New Zealand.

He has also not ruled out ajoint venture company like TFM with TF1 in France, although he says there aredifferent motivations at work in Spain in light of the depressed TV climate.

"Miramax's aim is always tofind the best ways to maximize revenues," said Sands.