Ibermedia to boost distribution

Spanish, Portuguese language pics to benefit

MADRID — Ibermedia, the multi-million dollar pan-regional film fund for Spain, Portugal and Latin America, will launch a new funding initiative targeting distribution companies.

Latin American distributors often distribute on a multi-territory basis, buying rights for not only Argentina but also Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay, for example.

The new scheme recognizes this, awarding coin to distributors that handle a set number of Spanish, Portuguese or Latin American titles in large countries or zones of the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking world.

System envisages a points system according to territories’ size. Large countries are Argentina, Spain, Mexico, Brazil and Cuba. Chile, Colombia and Portugal are considered middle-sized countries, said Elena Vilardell, Ibermedia technical secretary.

Films will have to bow theatrically in a minimum number of cities.

Grouping Spain, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Portugal and 12 other Latin America countries, Ibermedia held a board meeting Nov. 26-28 in Cordoba, southern Spain, coinciding with Ibermedia’s 10th anniversary. The distribution house support scheme could well launch after the next Ibermedia meeting in July in Quito, Ecuador.

From 2009, Ibermedia will also support cinemas that screen Ibero-American films, she added.

The new distribution and exhibition moves reflect an ever-increased concern at Ibermedia, which has ploughed $45 million into the development, co-production, distribution and promotion of pics, plus training, since 1997.

Although production levels have spiraled in Spain and Latin America, finding theatrical distributors for the pics is still tough. “It’s not enough for films to be produced: we must try to help them be distributed and exhibited as well,” said Fernando Lara, director general of the ICAA Spanish film institute, an Ibermedia member.

On Wednesday, Ibermedia announced 77 titles that have received various categories of subsidy coin.

Co-production funding has gone to Argentinean Pablo Trapero’s “Desencuentro” (Misencounter), Ana Carolina Texeira Soares’ “A Primeira Missa,” from Brazil, Alberto Lecchi’s “El frasco,” from Argentina, and Peruvian Francisco Lombardi “Ella.”

Other co-production recipients included Spaniard Manuel Gutierrez- Aragon’s “De donde son los cantantes,” Pablo Perelman’s “La leccion de pintura,” a four-way co-pro between Spain, Mexico, Argentina and Chile, and Spanish project “Algo habran hecho,” by Francisco Nogueira.

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