While the War Lasts (Mientras dure la guerra): New Film of Amenabar, Spanish Oscar Winner (The Sea Inside)

Variety Reports:

Movistar +, the pay-TV division of Telefonica, one of Europe’s biggest telecoms, is moving into original productions with Spanish director Alejandro Amenábar (Oscar winner for The Sea Inside).

The action marks a potential milestone in the Spanish-language industry as Movistar + takes the lead on productions of big films that few other companies have the money to create.

Movistar +’s original films could prove catnip for Hollywood, which has seen big Spanish-language titles backed by broadcast networks Mediaset España and Atresmedia sometimes outearn Hollywood studio releases in Spain.

The inaugural film is “Mientras dure la guerra” by Amenábar, who directed “The Others” with Nicole Kidman, “Agora” with Rachel Weisz, and Oscar-winning “The Sea Inside” with Javier Bardem.

Mod also produced Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s Biutiful, which garnered Javier Bardem Best Actor Oscar nomination.

Written by Amenábar, “Mientras dure la guerra” (which translates into English as “While the War Lasts”) will shoot for eight weeks, starting next Monday, in Salamanca, Madrid, Toledo, Chinchón and the Basque country. The film is set in 1936, as Fascist leader Francisco Franco and fellow generals rise up against the republic. The film follows one of Spain’s greatest writers, Miguel Unamuno, during the tumultuous first months of the Spanish Civil War.

Although he first supported Franco, Unamuno raised his voice in opposition, which cost him his career and almost his life. His actions still are moral touchstone in Spain.

“This project is very special for me, being the first that I’ll shoot in Spanish in a long time,” Amenábar said, adding that the film, “despite portraying the recent past of Spain, talks very directly about its present.”

Bovaira said: “This is the story of a military man and a man of letters, the confluence and conflict of two worlds at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War.

Telefonica Studios, Movistar +’s first production unit, which bowed in September 2013, took minority equity positions in 10 films in 2015 and a similar number in 2016. It will continue to invest in riskier smaller movies such as “Campeones,” currently heading towards $20 million at the Spanish box office.

With “Mientras dure la guerra,” Movistar + will begin taking full or majority stakes in three to four movies a year by 2021, said Sergio Oslé, head of Movistar +. Talent, including directors, will in most cases be Spanish or Latin American.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Speak Your Mind

*