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Cannes: Telecinco Cinema Boards Gracia Querejeta’s Basque Country-Set Comedy ‘Crime Wave’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety logo Variety 5/25/2017 Emiliano De Pablos
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In one of Spain’s biggest box office bets for 2018, Telecinco Cinema, the film production arm of broadcaster Mediaset España, has boarded Basque Country-set, Maribel Verdú-starrer black comedy “Crime Wave.”

Directed by Gracia Querejeta (“15 Years in One Day”), film is scheduled to roll Oct.-Nov. in flagship locations in the Basque Country’s Bilbao and Biscay province. It is also produced by Bilbao’s Historias del Tío Luis and Santiago Segura’s Bowfinger International Pictures.

In “Crime Wave,” Verdú, whose credits include ”Pan’s Labyrinth,” “And Your Mother Too” and “Snow White,” plays a wealthy divorced housewife living in Bilbao’s Neguri suburb who finds out that her teenager son has killed his father. Trying to protect him against all odds, she will cause a riotous crime wave in the city.

Telecinco Cinema’s Ghislain Barrois and Alvaro Augustín, Bowfinger’s María Luisa Gutiérrez and Historias del Tío Luis’ Eduardo Carneros and Marías produce the film.

Producers created a tax vehicle, Crimen Zinema AIE, to access a recent 30% tax shelter for film investment by Biscay-based tax-payers, applied up to a limit of 50% of the costs of production and 40% of P&A.

“Biscay’s tax rebate makes it easier for indie producers to cover their production share,” said Eduardo Carneros at Cannes.

Penned by Bilbao-born writer-director Luis Marías (“Fuego”), “Crime Wave” will shoot on locations in Bilbao’s business, tourist and inner-city districts, the Neguri suburb, the Ria of Bilbao and on the Portugalete Suspension Bridge. “Bilbao becomes one of the characters of the film,” Carneros said.

“Crime Wave” marks Telecinco Cinema’s return to a Basque Country-set comedy, which proved a winning combination for the company in 2014 with local box office juggernaut “Spanish Affair.”

Another Telecinco Cinema comedy, Carlos Therón’s “Es por tu bien,” has earned €9.5 million ($10.5 million) at the Spanish B.O., becoming the highest local grossing film of the year so far.

One of the Basque country’s most prominent producers, Eduardo Carneros has produced films such as Nacho Vigalondo’s “Timecrimes” and Pablo Giorgelli’s “Las Acacias.”

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