British actors Matthew Goode, James Fleet and Laurence Fox have signed on to star alongside Spaniards Veronica Sanchez and Guillermo Toledo in director Fernando Colomo's forthcoming Gerald Brenan biopic, South Of Granada (Al Sur De Granada).
The story of writer Brenan's first encounter with Spain and his love affair with a Spanish woman in the 1920s, set to begin shooting this month, is a co-production between Colomo and mini-major Sogecine, producer of Spain's biggest-ever (co-produced) hit The Others.
Granada is just one of several co-productions Sogecine has in the works, though not, according to Sogecine chief Fernando Bovaira, in response to a new Spanish law requiring producers affiliated with a broadcaster to co-produce 75% of their films with independent producers.
However, Sogecine, which is allied to Canal Plus through parent Sogecable; and Lolafilms which is allied to Antena 3 and Via Digital through Telefonica, would be most affected by the law, which is pending official ratification.
"It will modify our production plans but not significantly," Bovaira says of the law - and his plans to produce fewer films this year.
Many of Sogecine's 2001 films were co-productions, including yet-to-be released titles like The Carpenter's Pencil (El Lapiz Del Carpintero), Carol's Journey (El Viaje De Carol) and The Stone Raft (La Balsa De Piedra).
Headlining Sogecine's 2002 slate so far is the Fesser brothers' The Big Adventure Of Clever And Smart (La Gran Aventura De Mortadelo Y Filemon), an ambitious Euros 7.5m co-production with Peliculas Pendleton based on a popular comic. Details of the film are being closely guarded.
Sogecine is also prepping Garfia with director Manuel Matji likely attached. Based on the true story of a fugitive of justice, the film is billed as half action-drama and half love story.