Plural-Argos pact targets Hispanic markets

First projects planned for Spain

MIAMI — New Spanish-U.S. production company Plural Entertainment has inked a nonexclusive pact with leading Mexican indie production house Argos Comunicacion for TV and film co-productions in Spain, the U.S. and Mexico.

“This accord is a deepening of the relationship that started with the co-production of ‘La Habitacion Azul,’ ” said Luis Fernandez, Plural’s New York-based managing director.

Feature film “Habitacion Azul” (The Blue Room) lensed early this year and is skedded for release in Mexico in February.

“In addition to cinema, we are studying the possibilities of co-producing a novela and a dramatic series,” Fernandez said. In the works is an adaptation of Argos’ TV format “Donde Estas Corazon” for the Spanish market, he said.

Gain in Spain

Plural was launched in February to target the rich Hispanic market and the Spanish-speaking world. It has begun to sell its first projects in Spain, a territory with an avid TV appetite for documentaries.

Satcaster Via Digital has closed on Spanish pay TV rights for “Caminantes,” a one-hour docu special from Spanish helmer Fernando Leon (“Barrio”), and docu spec “Era Medianoche en Bhopal,” about the industrial catastrophe in India. Pubcaster RTVE has taken free TV rights on “Bhopal.”

The Argos deal is part of Plural’s strategy to forge TV and film alliances with key production companies in the Americas and in Spain.

“Our aim is to co-produce with leading players in the region,” said Plural prexy Jose Vicuna. He said Plural is in talks in Brazil with TV Globo and with indie pic production house Conspiracao Films.

Plural also could participate in Argos’ productions for No. 2 U.S. Spanish-lingo broadcaster Telemundo.

Argos has a three-year co-prod joint venture with Telemundo. The first novela production under that accord, “Cara o Cruz,” was not well received in the U.S. and its run was shortened.

But Fernandez emphasized that Plural is free to work with Telemundo’s chief competish, Univision, which will bow a second network in January, either on its own or in partnership with Argos.

Univision has U.S. rights to “Habitacion Azul,” though theatrical release will depend on its perf in Mexico.

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