Spanish film and TV producer Morena Films has unveiled three new feature films for its 2002 slate, following its co-production of the Oliver Stone Cuba documentary Looking For Fidel.
Alvaro Fernandez Armero, director of local box office smash The Art Of Dying (El Arte De Morir), has signed on to an as-yet untitled "submarine story" written by Alberto Porlan and Marcelo Figueras (Burnt Money). The wartime action drama about a Spanish submarine which sank at midnight on New Year's Eve in 1936 is based on real events. Casting is underway on the $4.5m -$5m project for a mid-summer shoot.
3D animated feature Back To Gaya is an English-language co-production with Germany's Ambient Entertainment. The ambitious $13m project, from director Lenard Krawinkel, is being scripted by A Bugs Life and Hercules co-writers Bob Shaw and Don McEnery alongside Jan Berger. The tale is about a group of creatures from a TV fairytale land who get sucked into the real world.
Finally, drama Urtain is based on the life story of 1970s-1980s Spanish boxing champ Jose Manuel Ibar Urtain. Described as Raging Bull meets Rocky, the film will be set against the social context of Spain's transition to democracy. Juan Cavestany (Washington Wolves) wrote the script. A Spanish director and star will be announced shortly.
Juan Gordon, head of the feature film division, says the three year-old company's strategy has been to back "first-time directors working from their own scripts and, simultaneously, develop interesting stories and scripts ourselves which will attract more established directors."