Spanish producer BocaBoca is planning to more than double its recent feature film output with an ambitious 2003-2004 slate and a new five-year production plan.
Whereas in the last two years the company has produced just two films - well-received thriller Nos Miran, still going strong on the genre festival circuit, and youth drama 4th Floor (Planta 4a), invited to screen at the Montreal festival this autumn - BocaBoca's plans now envisage two to three films per year.
"I've taken time out to restructure my film activities and seek new financing and distribution formulas," says Cesar Benitez (pictured), head of BocaBoca. As an example of the latter, he is releasing 4th Floor in Spain through Buena Vista rather than usual partner Columbia.
On the former, he says, "We're looking for greater financing from outside Spain via co-productions and sales on rights." It is a lowered-risk strategy - less dependent on traditional funding sources in Spain, and one necessary to piece together bigger-budgeted films such as tentpole project Son In Love (El Hijo Enamorado).
Son was postponed this year while Benitez and his international sales and co-productions chief Mercedes Borruel sought foreign financing for the Euros 7m budget. They secured 20% commitments last month from both the UK's F&ME and Germany's Daniel Zuta Film Produktion.
The period adventure tale, focusing on an as-yet un-enlightened Christ and set to involve elaborate digital effects, is now planned for a 13-week shoot in Tunisia starting in January 2004 with leads Pilar Lopez de Ayala (The Bridge Of San Luis Rey) and Juan Diego Botto (The Dancer Upstairs).
Son is one of two projects re-teaming Benitez with director Manuel Gomez Pereira and script-writer Joaquin Oristrell, the trio behind some of the country's biggest comedy hits of the 1990's.
The other is romantic comedy Things That Make Life Worth Living (Cosas Que Hacen Que La Vida Valga La Pena), currently shooting in Madrid.