Docu Market stresses creativity

40 companies took exhibiting space

MADRID — The Mercadoc European and Latin-American Documentary Market, which wrapped Saturday in Malaga, southern Spain, underscored the creative vitality of the genre in the Spanish-speaking world and the financing problems that assail the sector.

The pic screened most by 70 buyers from 25 countries during the three-day mini-mart was Tom Fieling’s “Resistencia: Hip Hop in Columbia,” a U.K.-Colombia co-production about the crisis in the country through rappers’ eyes.

Other most viewed docus included the Arida Prod.-produced “Buenos Aires — Tango y Milongas,” about tangos during the Argentine depression; Produce Plus-Morena Films’ look at behind-the-scenes diplomacy, “El Pacificador”; EITB’s “El Paris de Pablo Picasso,” which revisits the painter’s bohemian haunts in Paris; and “Bola de nieve,” the Spanish-Mexican-Cuban biopic of the gay Cuban musician, nick-named “Snowball.”

Attendance was up at the only dedicated docu mart in the Spanish-speaking world. Participants were up 16% to 230. Buyers were up 7% on 2002, with acquisition execs from Belgium’s RTBF, Brazil’s Globosat, Chile’s Canal 13, Spain’s Planeta and RTVE, France’s Arte and Seasons, Holland’s Avro TV, Mexico’s Canal 22, Sweden’s SVT and Discovery Networks Latin America in the U.S.

Forty companies took exhibiting space, among them some of the biggest documakers and broadcasters in Spain such as RTVE, Andalusian pubcaster Canal Sur TV, satcaster Via Digital, premium paybox Canal Plus and its production arm Produce Plus.

Further exhibitors included Brazil’s Brazilian Cinema Promotion and Venezuela’s CNAC film institute.

“Mercadoc allows for international sales beyond Spain and co-production networking, which is increasingly important as Spanish nets are buying less frequently,” said Mercadoc director Carmelo Romero.

The highlights of the Mercadoc pitching session were “The Dragon House. Jigme: The First DJ in the Kingdom of Bhutan,” about an engagingly traditional Bhutanese DJ, and the Jose Maria Lara-produced “Los duenos del fin del mundo,” about ecology-smitten millionaires buying up land in Patagonia.

Mercadoc is part of the Malaga Spanish Film Festival, opened Friday by vet helmer Pedro Olea’s contempo couple drama “Tiempo de tormenta” (Stormy Weather), which got an upbeat reception. Fest ends Saturday.

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