Effort aimed at boosting profits for local pics

BUENOS AIRES – Argentina’s state film board Incaa is preparing to launch a video-on-demand service as soon as this year, a latest effort to help homegrown films turn a profit as theatrical and DVD markets falter, piracy swells and the demand for home entertainment rises.

The pay-per-view service will be for local and international fare streamed on a dedicated site.

The filmmaker will pocket 90% of the proceeds and Incaa the rest for helping fund Argentina’s annual production of 80 features.

Argentine movies “survive on subsidies. Only a few make a profit,” said Incaa prexy Liliana Mazure. “We are working as fast as possible to change this, to find ways to use technology as a tool to improve the business.”

Hollywood dominates 80% of box office receipts on the mainstream circuit, leaving zero to little exposure for local output.

In another effort, Incaa this year will launch INCAAtv, a satellite feed for beaming free-for-view films to the country’s 10 million TV homes, the first of its kind in Latin America.

Argentina isn’t alone in the push to widen distribution outlets. French film export board Unifrance announced in January at its Paris Rendez-Vous that it was also studying a VOD distribution service for Gallic films.

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