In a bid to give more opportunities to women directors and boost the romcom genre, Sony Pictures International has teamed up with Maria Ripoll’s Cahuenga Filmmakers and transatlantic production shingle El Estudio to launch The Love Collection, a series of romantic comedy features to be written and helmed by women.

Ripoll, best known for her romcom “Ahora o nunca,” the highest-grossing femme-directed film in Spain, will serve as executive producer on all the titles, and will direct the first in the collection, “Yo no soy esa,” (roughly translated to “I’m Not That One” or “I’m Not Her”) starring Verónica Echegui (“Trust,” “You’re Killing Me, Susana”). El Estudio’s Enrique López Lavigne will serve as producer on all the titles.

In “Yo no soy esa,” Susana (Echegui) wakes up after a 20-year coma. Stuck in a grown woman’s body but emotionally and psychologically still a teenager, Susana must learn to navigate an unfamiliar world and rediscover herself.

Written by Olga Iglesias (“Guerra de likes”), “Yo no soy esa” kicks off principal photography this March in Barcelona and will be released in theaters by Sony Pictures Entertainment Iberia.

Describing The Love Collection as an ensemble of films made by women, about women and about love, Ripoll said: “As a woman and filmmaker, I want to share my experience and collaborate with other women directors, writers and actresses who want to direct.”

“With ‘Yo no soy esa,’ our intention is to make a provocative, fun and feel-good movie where you can breathe the will to live and reflect on how we women interact nowadays with others, with love and with the world,” she added.

Joining Echegui in the cast are Silma López (“Valeria”), Ángela Molina (“Live Flesh,” “Blancanieves”), Daniel Grao (“La casa entre los cactus”) and Adam Jezierski (“Los Farad”).

Also in development for The Love Collection, is “Welcome,” from writer-director Marta Font Pascual (“Intimidad”).

Shebnem Askin, executive VP, creative production & head of Sony Pictures International Productions, remarked: “Beyond being a talented filmmaker, María has mastered the art of romantic comedies. Her expertise and success in this popular genre will be of great value to The Love Collection and we couldn’t be more thrilled to explore this genre and launch this series with her and other skilled filmmakers such as Marta Font Pascual.”  

Said El Estudio’s Lavigne: “In today’s world love is more necessary than ever, and it’s something we are in search of in several aspects of our lives. When Sony Pictures International Productions approached us with this new opportunity to produce these films, we decided to approach them as a platform to explore new talent in a new scenario. The Love Collection is a new series of romantic comedies that cross time and generations.”

The new initiative is also welcome news given the dearth of romantic comedies in today’s marketplace.

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