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Kudos on the way for Iberian fare

Winners to include comedy, miniseries, actor categories

BUENOS AIRES — The first festival and confab for Iberian and Latin American telenovelas and fiction programs will unfold March 28-April 4 in Punta del Este, Uruguay.

A seven-member jury will select winners in categories including comedy, miniseries and telenovela, actor, director and screenwriter, from programs broadcast in Latin America, Portugal and Spain between June 2003 and December 2004.

Titles from U.S.-based Telemundo and Colombia’s Caracol and RTI are slated for entry in the competition.

The festival will also feature a program market. Argentina’s Artear and Pol-Ka, Brazil’s Globo, Mexico’s Televisa Estudios and Venezuela’s Venevision are among production outfits skedded to participate.

The Buenos Aires-based organizer wants the event to help expand foreign sales of fiction programs, Latin America’s biggest cultural export.

Directors, scribes, producers and thesps are increasingly getting in on telenovelas, now viewed as better than a bigscreen movie as a way to advance a career.

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