Spain's Alquimia Cinema has boarded two European projects as minority co-producer: French sequel Jet Set 2 from Mandarin Films and Italian thriller Eyes Of Crystal from Cattleya Films.
The Euros4.5m comedy Jet Set 2 will shoot in Ibiza in September with the prequel's director, Fabien Onteniente, and some of the same actors, including Jose Garcia and Ornella Muti.
Eros Puglielli will direct serial killer thriller Eyes of Crystal with Luigi Lo Cascio (100 Steps) to star opposite a Spanish actress. Casting is being finalized this week on the Euros2.5m title, a co-production with RAI Cinema shooting in Bulgaria in September.
Alquimia has co-produced previously with both partners, part of the company's strategy to nurture reciprocal relationships. "They allow you to make more films, enhance your library of titles and mutually forge markets in other territories," says Alquimia chief Francisco Ramos, adding that the "next step" will be to "make even bigger movies with the same partners, maybe English-language and with $10m budgets instead of $6m."
"Italy and Spain are tricky territories because they share similarities but have different languages, tastes and ways of life," adds Cattleya's Marco Chimenz. "Without a deep understanding of those differences you are bound to make mistakes. Francisco understands this and is equally dedicated to finding material and talents which lend to co-productions."
Among Alquimia's own films in development for 2003-2004 are: comedy Mentiras Y Gordas starring hot talents Leonor Watling, Natalia Verbeke and Maria Esteve for team Albacete & Menkes; Aitana Sanchez-Gijon-starrer Accidente; Ramon Salazar's Euros4m-plus follow-up to Stones, Mientras Esperamos, with stars Najwa Nimri and Angela Molina; and Luis Prieto's debut, Condon Express.