By John Hopewell
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In a sign of a new ebullience in Spain’s film industry, Spain’s Elamedia Estudios, founded by Roberto Butragueño is launching Sideral, an integrated production-distribution-sales label which makes its debut presenting at the Berlinale Co-Production Market the feature project “Cheaper Than Stealing.”
Titles Sideral handles either in international sales, production or distribution take in “In the Sultan’s Bedchamber,” from San Sebastian best director winner Javier Rebollo (“Woman Without Piano”), a Sideral production; “The Fantastic Golem,” Affairs” from hot Spanish duo Burning Percebes, which it sells abroad, and “I Have Electric Dreams,” Costa Rican Valerie Maurel’s Locarno best director, actor and actress winner.
Underscoring its status as a new force on Spain’s movie scene, Sideral has confirmed 22 production, distribution or sales titles.
“From several years back, Elamedia has been backing many titles. Now we’re ramping up production and domestic and international distribution and want to create an identifiable brand, Elamedia Studios founder Roberto Butragueño told Variety.
Sideral is “talent-driven. That’s more important than specific genres,” Sideral executive producer Paola Botrán added.
Most talents currently are new filmmakers. Production highlights also take in, for example, Pablo Maqueda’s second feature “Girl Unknown,” a grooming thriller with a twist, and Ainhoa Ménéndez’s debut “In the Flesh.”
However, “we also want to become better known and work with established talent, “Butragueño said.
Sideral “aims to bring enthralling, impactful content worth the audiences’ time and promote strong narratives that bring commercial elements to independent productions,” Elamedia Studios said Friday.
That cuts various ways. “Cheaper than Stealing,” from Pedro Collantes, weighs in as a comedy as a humble uber driver scores a job at an ad agency, plunges its OTT world and the film builds into an expose of how “political correctness becomes a commodified currency,” the director has said.
Shooting this year, “In the Flesh” is a horror-laced romantic drama; “Golem” has a star-spangled Spanish cast – Anna Castillo, Luis Tosar and Roberto Álamo – for a surreal fantasy debut from Juan González and Fernando Martínez, aka Burnin’ Percebes.
Further titles on Sideral’s sales slate take in David Martin de los Santos’ ”That Was Life,” a Spanish Academy Goya Award nominee for first feature film and best actress; “Wandering, a Rohingya Story,” from Olivier Higgins and Mélanie Carrier, which won best documentary at the Canadian Academy Awards; and “La Mala Familia,” directed by the BRBR film collective.
Sideral’s distribution slate in Spain also features Sundance title “The Fishbowl,” by Glorimar Marrero, plus two French films: “Petites,” by Julie Lerat-Gersant, and “Fifi” by Jeanne Asland and Paul Saintillan winner of San Sebastian’s prestigious New Directors award.
Over 2024-25, Sideral will also release titles from Spanish women directors, two of which are set to feature in industry sections at the Malaga Festival’s Spanish Screenings Content in March: “As Neves,” by Sonia Méndez, and “The Firefly Clearing,” by Ana Ortiz.