ROME — Argentina’s Alfredo Federico has launched Rome-based 39 Films to forge production bridges between Europe and Latin America.
From Rome, Federico will work a two-way street, structuring European majority co-productions with Latin America and bringing European partners on board as investors or co-producers on Latin American projects.
He will also seek to steer projects looking to shoot in Latin America.
39 Films is backed by undisclosed Latin American production houses.
“Our Argentinean backers are strategic investors; others — in Brazil and Mexico — form part of a production network,” 39 CEO Federico said.
Latin American co-producers on projects will be decided project by project. 39 Films will work with a wide range of Latin American producers, he added.
39 Films’ first project is “Estela,” co-written and directed by first-timer Nicolas Gil Lavedra, turning on the life-story of Estela Carlotto, president of the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo Association.
Aleph Cine, owned by vet producer Fernando Sokolowicz (“El lado oscuro del corazon”) will co-produce out of Argentina.
Skedded to shoot next year, “‘Estela’ “has a meaning for anybody who suffers loss,” said Federico.
Several factors play in 39 Films’ favor.
Federico helped structure the Argentine-Italy co-production “El Artista,” produced by Aleph and Costa and Italy’s Barter and Istituto Luce.
Beyond fest play and plaudits, select Latin American films are breaking through to substantial sales.
Latin American territories are making a major effort to boost co-productions and shoot facilities: Rio with Rio Filmes and a rebooted Film Commission is one example.
And Latin American shoot costs are notably cheaper.
“If a film costs Euros1 million ($1.4 million) to make in Europe, it could cost $750,000 in Argentina and a partner there could put up $200,000,” Federico said.
Also, the Italian film industry has long cultivated a warm rapport with Argentina in particular, which has a large population of Italian origin.
The two countries have a very liberal co-production treaty that sets the minimum stake for an Argentine co-producer to tap Italian subsidies at 10%.
Italian state film entity Cinecitta Luce has several Italy-Argentina co-productions in the works, including “Toxic Jungle,” a musical rock comedy by first-time Italo helmer Gianfranco Quatrini.