Indecito toons into new CEO

Move signals new commercial aggression

Jose Luis Massa has replaced Jorge Rodriguez as prexy/CEO of Buenos Aires’ Indiecito Studios, the largest animation studios in Latin America.

Massa has also become Indiecito’s biggest non-corporate shareholder.

Massa’s promotion — he previously directed Indiecito toon pics “Patoruzito, the Big Adventure” and “Isidoro, the Movie” — signals a new commercial aggression at Indiecito.

It is pushing into theatrical distribution on “Isidoro, the Movie,” about an unscrupulous jet-setter.

Deals have been struck for “Isidoro’s” July release with Argentina’s biggest exhibition loops, Cinemark, Village Cines, Hoyts and Showcase, Rose Adkins, global president of marketing, said at Berlin.

Pic will go out on a wide, 92-100 print run in Argentina, Adkins added.

Indiecito has also pacted for South American pay TV rights with Cartoon Network for 10 original minutes of “Isidoro.” Indiecito and Cartoon Network are finalizing a deal for more episodes.

The studio has also optioned adaptation and theatrical distribution rights for the live action/CGI adult toon pic “Boogie.” Pic is skedded for delivery in 2009.

It will also upgrade to total CGI on the upcoming “Patoruzo,” sourced from the same comic books as its hit “Patoruzito.”

Company is close to closing its first co-production deal with a U.S. toon firm.

“The key thing about Argentina is costs,” Adkins said. “Indiecito can save a partner $8,000, or sometimes much more, per minute.”

Adkins, formerly director of studio partnerships at Universal Pictures, was appointed in October to fire up Indiecito’s international presence.

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