NuVision flexes its mu$cle with fest pix

Pan-regional purchase policy allows CIE's suppliers one-stop selling

CANNES — Latin America’s most powerful pic distribber NuVision has picked up three films at this year’s Cannes Festival: Portman Entertainment’s “Saving Grace,” starring Brenda Blethyn; Renaissance Films’ “The Luzhin Defence,” with Emily Watson and and John Turturro; and John Malkovich’s directorial debut, “The Dancer Upstairs,” toplining Javier Bardem.

The latest pickups underline the buying muscle of NuVision, the distrib operation of Estudio Mexico Films, a 50-50 joint venture between CIE and Mexican financial house Inbursa.

To oversee this expansion, Estudio Mexico Films CEO Federico Gonzalez Compean will relocate back from Spain to Mexico. Gonzalez Compean was instrumental in setting up CIE’s Spanish operations last year, launching a Spanish-lingo version of Walt Disney musical “Beauty and the Beast,” which has, to date, grossed $8 million.

Launched at Cannes in 1998, NuVision has acquired all rights to Latin America on some 20 films. It releases some 12-15 pics a year, working with associate distribbers in set territories: Eurocine for Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, and Art Films and Filmark for Brazil, for example.

NuVision can play off a booming exhib sector in Latin America, which is still powering up admissions: its “House on Haunted Hill” has grossed nearly $3 million over its first four weeks.

Its pan-regional purchase policy works off economies of scale and synergies with the rest of CIE.

“Buying for the whole of Latin America, you can use ad campaigns on pan-regional satcasters and regional sponsors. We also have the support of other parts of CIE: CIE’s radio network Rock & Pop in Argentina was a major promotion force for ‘The Blair Witch Project,’ ” said NuVision’s Pedro Rodriguez.

“Buying all Latin America also allows CIE’s suppliers one-stop selling for the whole region. And pan-regional buys could allow us to ride out any problems if one country goes into recession,” he added.

Estudio Mexico Films pic production arm Altavista has two pics at Cannes: “Amores perros” and “Todo por el poder.” “Perros” looks set to close major territory deals at Cannes.

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