Debutant Ventana Sur attracts industry guests

The first Latin American film mart, Ventana Sur, whose backers include the Cannes Film Festival’s market, is tracking at 95% invite acceptance just weeks before its bow.

The event, which runs Nov. 27-30 in Buenos Aires, is the most ambitious attempt ever to mount a market dedicated to the promotion and sale of Latin American films. Its organizers — the Cannes market and Argentina’s Incaa film institute — have extended 200 invitations to a mix of buyers, distributors, sales agents and TV acquisitions heads.

At least 50 sales companies and distributors will attend from Latin America; producers and institutions from the region have signed up as well.

Total attendance looks set to run at around 500.

Among U.S. companies expected are Figa, Film Movement, Lap TV, Madman Entertainment, Magnolia, Maya Entertainment, Montecristo Intl., Samuel Goldwyn Films, Shoreline Entertainment, Showtime Networks, Strand Releasing and Ondamax. Belgium’s Cineart; France’s EuropaCorp, Diaphana and Haut et Court; Spain’s Filmax; and Sweden’s NonStop are among high-level distributors that have also signed on.

France, Europe’s sales hub, will be repped by at least 16 companies, ranging from big pic vendor Kinology to regular purchasers of Latin American pics — Wild Bunch, Elle Driver, Memento, MK2 and Rezo — and classic arthouse/crossover shingles, such as Bac, Films Distribution, Roissy and Pyramide.

European sales companies Match Factory, Bavaria Film Intl., Imagina Intl. Sales, Latido and DeAPlaneta have also accepted invitations.

The mart will screen around 50 Latin American films. These include, from Argentina, Juan Jose Campanella’s smash hit “The Secret in Their Eyes” and Marcelo Pineyro’s “The Widows of Thursdays”; Jorge Navas’ “La sangre y la lluvia,” from Colombia; and Rigoberto Perezcano’s “Northless” and Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio’s “To the Sea,” both from Mexico.

Incaa prexy Liliana Mazure said only a small percentage of the region’s films are shown at established fests.

“Latin American film and TV is growing every day in quality and quantity,” she said. “We need to generate significant international demand for our wide-ranging offer.”

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