Fund will back pics to tune of $200,000

Buenos Aires– Brazil and Argentina have created a co-production fund, marking a new phase in film relations between South America’s two movie giants.

The fund is backed by Brazil’s National Cinema Agency (Ancine), and Argentina’s National Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual Arts (Incaa).

It will finance two majority Argentine co-productions and two majority Brazilian movies a year.

Every movie will receive a $200,000 grant, Incaa prexy Liliana Mazure and Ancine president Manoel Rangel announced Saturday at the Ventana Sur Latin America film market in Buenos Aires.

Productions require a minimum 20% co-production equity to qualify and can shoot in Spanish or Portuguese.

The $200,000 grant accounts for 10% or less of many Argentine or Brazilian movie budgets. But it’s a significant part of the 20%-or-so-completion funding on average-budget films that producers often struggle to find after tapping traditional sources.

The fund kicks in at a crucial time in shifting relations between Argentina, Brazil and Europe.

Argentina traditionally co-produces with Spain. But new Spanish film regs require producers to invest $2 million in international co-productions to tap key national subsidies. This discourages the low-budget Argentine-Spanish projects.

Brazil, in contrast, is fast opening its doors to international co-productions. It co-produced five movies in 2005, 15 in 2008 and ten last year.

The strength of the Bralizian reals, which has appreciated 45% against the dollar in two years, is one of the talking points of Ventana Sur.

“Brazilian cinema is hardly seen in Argentina and Argentinean cinema not much more in Brazil,” Mazure said.

“The fund not only encourages enriching co-production but also, through that, a screen and public presence.”

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