Sony'sMexican local production unit Columbia Films Producciones Mexico has startedprincipal photography in Mexico City on its first feature, Fernando Sarinana'scomedy Charm School.

Thestory follows the rebellious 18-year-old daughter of a political candidate whois sent to a finishing school and locks horns with the doughty principal.Martha Higareda, Camila Sodi and Blanca Guerra star.

IssaLopez' screenplay is based on an idea and story treatment by SPRI executivevice president of creative Ignacio Darnaude and Jose Balido. Sarinana will alsoact as producer.

SonyPictures Releasing International will handle the international release on thefilm, as it will with all titles on the Columbia Films Producciones Mexicoslate.

"Asone of our top five international markets in the world, production is boomingin Mexico and as such, we are delighted to be an integral part of the localproduction community and working with the extremely gifted Fernando Sarinana,Issa Lopez and talented cast," Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group vicechairman Gareth Wigan said.

ColumbiaPictures Producciones Mexico's mandate is to develop, invest in and acquiresuitable titles, and follows other Sony local language companies establishedaround the world.

Oneof Sony's most successful local language productions was in Asia with StephenChow's Kung Fu Hustle, which grossedmore than $100m worldwide.

Thefirst Spanish-Italian local language feature, Melissa P, a co-production, between Sony Pictures Releasing Italiaand Columbia Films Producciones Espanolas, opened number one in Italy recently.