5 Argentine pic players join forces

Cine.ar will focus on new talent, exports

BUENOS AIRES — Five top film players in Argentina have created Cine.ar, the country’s first company made up of the industry’s main branches: distribution, production, promotion and services.

According to BD Cine’s Diego Dubcovsky, Cine.ar brings together “the best know-how in all the stages of a project.”

Producer BD Cine is a shareholder, along with promoter Filmsuez, distrib Distribution Company, equipment supplier Alta Definicion and post-house Cinecolor.

Scribe-producer Daniel Botti (“Un hijo genial”) is managing the venture along with Cinecolor general manager Alejandro Heredia as prexy.

The company’s goal is to pair “private financing and independent projects that have commercial reach,” Dubcovsky says.

Argentina’s filmmakers are heavily reliant on limited state coin.

Incaa, the state film department, supplies $26 million in credit and subsidies, spread among 60 to 70 productions a year.

European co-production coin is on the rise but producers complain that it can be slow to secure and come with conditions like doing post-production on that Continent, which can be three-times more expensive than in Argentina. They also fear European interests could shift elsewhere, leaving less coin for Argentina.

These concerns are leading local producers to find new financing models.

Last year, Pachamama Cine and Zazen Prods. formed analliance that uses distrib profits to produce at least one feature a year. Others are teaming up with their counterparts in Latin America to raise the majority of a budget before seeking the rest in Europe.

Cine.ar will focus on new talent, Dubcovsky says.

To find its first projects, the company is holding a script contest that closes entries on Aug. 31. Cine.ar will produce two features emerging from the competition for release in the first half of 2007.

Another focus of Cine.ar is on exports, as this could boost profits by selling in stronger foreign currencies. Argentina’s peso is expected to remain at three per U.S. dollar for many years, keeping production costs down.

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