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Spain’s BTeam Pictures Bows Production Slate with ‘Between Two Waters,’ ‘Las niñas’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety logo Variety 6/29/2017 Emilio Mayorga

BARCELONA  — BTeam Pictures, the production arm of the newly monikered boutique Spanish distributor BTeam, formerly known as Betta Pictures, is launching its first production slate, taking equity participation in two projects, both produced out of Barcelona: “Between Two Waters” and “Las Niñas.”

“Between Two Waters” marks Catalan auteur Isaki Lacuesta’s follow-up to his feature debut “The Legend of Time,” produced by Mallerich Films and Jaleo Films, which depicted the singular relationship between a gipsy kid and Makiko, a young Japanese girl, with echoes in its depiction of the gypsy character of flamenco genius Camarón de la Isla.

“Between Two Waters” turns around two other main characters from the film  – siblings Isra and Cheíto –  depicted 12 years on.

Isra is now a drug trafficker, Cheíto has joined the army, and patrols the Straits of Gibraltar. Just out of jail, Isra tries to persuade his brother to avenge their father, murdered before their eyes when they were kids.

“Two Waters” refers to the Spanish and Morocco coastal waters, the borderline between fiction and documentary, and the deep differences between Isra and Cheíto, according to Lacuesta. Also, the title echoes a rumba-flamenco composition of guitarist Paco de Lucía which brought him worldwide fame. The script is by Lacuesta and Isa Campo, his regular co-scribe from 2009’s “The Damned” and co-director of his latest movie, last year’s “The Next Skin.”

BTeam Pictures is now entering into production on regular basis, having co-produced Paula Ortiz’s “The Bride” in 2015, company CEO Álex Lafuente told Variety.

A docu-fiction hybrid, “Between Two Waters” will be produced by Bteam Pictures and Termita Films, Lacuesta and Campo’s label. It will shoot this summer in Cadiz’s San Fernando, the Andalusian town where Camarón de la Isla was born, including professional and non-professional cast.

Lacuesta is one of Spain’s most noteworthy young auteurs, winning San Sebastian’s Golden Shell with “The Double Steps” in 2011.

The feature debut of Pilar Palomero whose short “Balcony Boy” took Best Short Award at France’s Nantes Spanish Film Festival, “Las Niñas” was unveiled at the 10th Spain-Ile de France Small is Biutiful in Paris, a Spain-France co-production forum unspooling June 23. It is produced by Valerie Delpierre at Inicia Films, one of the leading lights in a new wave of Catalan producers rapidly accruing international recognition, producing Berlinale 2017 Generation Kplus winner “Summer 1993″ and Laura Ferrés’ 2017 Critics’ Week best short winner “The Disinherited.”

“Las niñas” turns on on a young girl at a girls-only Catholic School, who begins to question her received education. “Multi-layered,” said Delpierre, it treats innocence, the entry into adolescence, the formation of critical conscience and an an individual’s personality and questions parents’ attitudes towards their children’s education.

“We’re committed to a diverse and auteur-driven cinema appealing to a broad audience in search of engaged, provocative and deeply-original movies,” Lafuente said.

He added that BTeam aimed to produce a couple of features per year, especially from new directors with whom BTeam could establish a “continuous work link.”

As a distribution company, buying all rights for Spain, BTeam acquired off Cannes Christian Carion’s “My Son,” Kantemir Balagov’s “Tesnota” and Marine Francen’s “The Sower.” Rights to Naomi Kawase’s “Radiance” were picked up just prior to Cannes.

Recently released titles take in William Oldroyd’s “Lady Macbeth” and Marie Noelle’s “Marie Curie.” Sebastian Lelio’s “A Fantastic Woman” will open in Spain this fall via BTeam.

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