Event showcases 'Pacto,' 'Purga,' 'Paraiso'

BUENOS AIRES — Antarctic-set “La Nada blanca” and fraud thriller “Perfidia” proved standouts at Ven TV, a landmark two-day showcase for the first fruits of a revolution in Argentine public service TV.

Other TV series highlights were “El Pacto,” with Cecilia Roth (“All About My Mother”) exposing big business practices, slum ‘burb redemption tale “La Purga” and medical drama “El Paraiso.”

Full marks for freshness go to “Destiny Puppet,” a laugh-out-loud marionette telenovela spoof set in the textile biz of Argentina’s far north.

The state funded 100% of the series and will underwrite more to fill public DTT channels on air and 220 digital nets to bow next year. This is enough to cover costs, leaving producers to make a profit in international sales.

These might just come as viewers tire of “seeing the same American story formats,” said Max Oliveras, head of sales and acquisitions at Montreal’s Delphis Films.

Indeed, Luca Macciocca, acquisitions exec at Italy’s RAI Cinema, was upbeat about Ven TV. “You can have first-hand contact with many companies who maybe can’t afford Mip TV or Mipcom,” he said.

Shows’ primary market is Argentina itself: Some series were languorously paced by U.S. or Western European standards, one buyer said. But the export biz has kicked in. Buenos Aires’ Primer Plano has taken international rights to social issues actioner “Under the Bridge,” and broken dreams drama “Gigantes.”

Start-up KAFilms is circling “Eden,” an ambitious period luxury hotel drama. Aura Films has multiple skeins, including docu-series “Prematuros,” co-helmed by Lucia Puenzo (“XXY”).

Aura’s Patricia Primon has initiated sales talks with Latin American culture channels outside Argentina, Eastern European operators and U.S. VOD services.

While not all is exportable, Michelle Wasserman, an international sales manager at Buenos Aires’ Telefe Intl., said all this could prove a launching pad “for smaller producers to get into bigger projects.”

Ven TV ran Dec. 6-7.

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