Columbia TriStar Film Distributors Intl. and Buena Vista Intl. said Oct. 17 they have formed a five-year partnership to distribute theatrical product in four key Latin arenas.

The joint venture, which takes effect Jan. 1, covers Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia. It replaces an existing accord whereby Columbia TriStar has handled BVI pics in all four territories since November 1992.

Collectively, the four countries represent more than 80% of the Latin American box office.

The new org will be called Buena Vista/Columbia TriStar in Mexico and Argentina and Columbia TriStar/Buena Vista in Brazil and Colombia. BVI’s Buenos Aires-based senior VP Diego Lerner and CTFDI’s Rio de Janeiro-based senior VP Giovanni Gentili will jointly oversee day-to-day operations.

“We believe our new partnership with BVI gives us a strategic advantage and cost-effective edge in distributing our motion pictures,” said CTFDI prexy J. Edward Shugrue.

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