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Genre titles hit Argentina

K&S Films lines up four-pic production slate

BUENOS AIRES — Argentina’s K&S Films, behind last year’s Cannes contender “Cronica de una fuga” (Buenos Aires 1977), has lined up a four-pic production slate with genre features by Israel Adrian Caetano and Damian Szifron.

Caetano, who helmed kidnap thriller “Buenos Aires,” will direct terror film “Cimarron,” with production to start early next year, says K&S partner Oscar Kramer.

Pablo Echarri, star of the hit TV revenge drama “Montecristo,” has signed to topline.

Szifron, of the hit action comedy “Tiempo de valientes” (On Probation) and private eye TV series “Los simuladores” (The Pretenders) will helm “El extranjero,” a sci-fi thriller about a man who discovers what’s running through his veins isn’t blood. It will start production by the middle of 2008.

“Our aim is to do films that are exportable and that bring in an audience,” Kramer says. “Genre films — terror, comedy, police, science fiction and others — they work in the whole world.”

Also in the pipeline for next year is an animated feature co-produced with Eyeworks Cuatro Cabezas, which will be released in June or July, 2009 .

Buenos Aires-based Cuatro Cabezas, producer of TV formats like satirical news roundup “Caiga Quien Caiga” (CQC) and investigative journalism series “La Liga” (The Team), is expanding into fiction. It worked with K&S on the production of Marcelo Pineyro’s crime caper “Plata quemada” (Burnt Money) in 2000.

K&S, co-run by Hugo Sigman, also has picked up film rights for “El Eternauta,” a sci-fi comic strip by Argentine writer Hector Oesterheld, who disappeared during the country’s 1976-83 military dictatorship.

“Eternauta” is about a family and a few friends in Buenos Aires who survive a deadly snowfall caused by invading aliens. They hook up with an impoverished resistance to fight the invaders and their army of giant insects, beasts and enslaved humans only to get separated in different time dimensions.

K&S will produce “Eternauta” with Italian Andrea Moretti’s Digital Desk.

Kramer is in talks with 20th Century Fox to partner on financing and distribution.

K&S was able to raise co-finance and distribution coin for “Buenos Aires 1977,” “On Probation” and “El Pasado” (The Past), a Hector Babenco-directed drama starring Gael Garcia Bernal.

Argentina’s filmmakers normally rely heavily on state coin, with few films making a reasonable profit because of weak distribution and exhibition.

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