Portugal's leading private free TV broadcaster, SIC, has acquired a 10% stake in Juan Gordon's Madrid-based production outfit Morena Films. The broadcaster has also acquired all rights for Portugal on three Morena projects which it will co-produce, and taken TV rights on three other Morena productions. The deal marks SIC's entrance into the international film production and acquisitions market.
SIC will co-produce and take all rights in Portugal on two of Morena's forthcoming film productions and a feature-length documentary with potential for theatrical release. The projects are:Fish People (Gente Pez), a $2.2m comedy co-written and directed by Jorge Iglesias and Mauro Entrialgo, set to begin shooting July 10;The Best Is Yet To Come (Lo Bueno Por Conocer), a $2.5m teen comedy co-written and to be co-directed by newcomers David Blanco and Jose Semprun, scheduled to roll in September; and English-language documentary Only Caballe about the life of opera diva Montserrat Caballe.
The broadcaster also took free TV rights to Morena's recently wrapped English-language feature One Of The Hollywood Ten starring Jeff Goldblum, and both free and pay TV rights to two ambitious TV projects, the Fireworks/Morena/Telefonica Media adventure series Queen Of Swords and the Duffelcoat/Morena children's series Big Bad Wolf. Both series will likely air on SIC Radical, one of three thematic channels SIC has developed for pay outlet TV Cabo.
Portuguese distribution-exhibition giant Lusomundo will likely handle the titles theatrically. The deal could also signify an entry for Morena into Brazil: SIC regularly acquires product from and once co-produced a series with Brazil's Globo. The Morena deal was brokered by SIC programming director Emidio Rangel; Francisco Pinto Balsemao is SIC's CEO.