Spanish producer Morena Films has opened feature film production label 'Happy Hour Films' dedicated to raucous teen flicks as part of a brimming slate of new projects for 2003-2004.
Happy Hour Films is an intentionally low-brow label conceived as the Spanish equivalent for Hollywood fare like American Pie.
"There's no we reason we can't make the same racy, commercial product with our own local elements," says Happy Hour producer Pedro Uriol. "We'll capitalise on promotional tie-ins and target the 15-25 crowd."
First up is road movie Slam, scheduled for a June release in Spain through Aurum, then School's Out (Fin De Curso), a Euros 2m graduation-trip romp currently in development.
Headlining Morena's ambitious slate of higher-budgeted concept movies under film chief Juan Gordon is the Euros7m-7.5m Gull, a 50-50 co-production with the UK's Slate Films.
The Euros 6.6m submarine thriller Oxygen, starring Jordi Molla (Blow) and Leonardo Sbaraglia (Intact) is a co-production with Italy's Mikado Films and the UK's Tubedale Films planned for an August shoot between Spain, Malta and Rome's CineCittta. Written by Marcelo Figueras and Alberto Porlan, and to be directed by Alvaro Fernandez Armero, the film is based on the true story of a Spanish submarine which sunk mysteriously at midnight on New Year's Eve, 1936.
Other new projects in development at Morena include: Maria Ripoll's Euros 4m black comedy Carne De Neon, likened to fast-paced urban fare like Snatch and City Of God; Euros 4.5m futuristic action drama Flop; and Euros 5m boxer biopic Urtain from director Mariano Barroso (In The Time Of The Butterflies).