New sales outfit finds untapped potential in Argentina

BUENOS AIRES — Javier Krause is fast building an international sales catalog, taking on films in Argentina and elsewhere with breakout potential but off the mainstream radar.

He launched KAFilms in April as a boutique label in Buenos Aires, quickly amassing a 30-feature catalog, with four additions in the last week. This is a sign of the indie film growth in Argentina.

A boom in film schools has made Argentina the busiest production industry in Latin America, with 100 features a year. There are about 15,000 film students — more than in Europe — looking for their shot, and this is spawning new voices out of Cordoba, Mendoza and the main output hub in Buenos Aires.

Many titles come from indie shops in Argentina with limited access to the 850-screen exhibition circuit 85% dominated by Hollywood.

“There are a lot of good films that never make it to theatrical, and we want to develop this market,” he said.

“De Caravana” (Clubbing), a freshman fish-out-of-water comedy by Rosendo Ruiz, pulled 20,000 admissions in Cordoba, where it was filmed, with three copies. Buyers have started calling, even for remake rights, Krause said.

KAFilms is taking eight of his 30 films to the Dec. 2-5 Ventana Sur film market, including Teodoro Ciampagna’s “Hipolito,” a political drama also out of Cordoba, and Emiliano Romero’s “Topos,” a tragicomedy played out in the world of resistance fighters.

It also plans to step up production — its first efforts were with animated feature “Anida y el Circo Flotante” and “Olympia,” the tale of an 18-year-old girl making her start in porn — and enter local distribution, including with a push into VOD.

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