TV dramas can tap $19 mil development fund

ROME — Argentina and Italy have unveiled a co-production fund for TV dramas that extends the two countries’ existing film production pact.

The small but significant $19 million development pot for Argentine skeins with Italo co-producers attached was presented Wednesday at the Rome Fiction Fest, during a packed confab attended by a robust delegation of TV producers from Argentina ready to start talking deals with Italo counterparts.

The fund is financed by Argentina’s state film entity Incaa, which aims to foster the emergence of more local indie TV producers and open up the country’s market where DTT channels are proliferating.

For Italy the TV pact is a stepping stone to the potentially massive Spanish-language market, while also allowing producers to tap into the large portion of Argentina’s TV audience that is of Italian descent.

To Argentina’s benefit, the TV co-productions will qualify for European broadcast quotas.

“There is an important transformation underway in Argentina’s TV market due to digitalization,” said Incaa’s German Calvi.

“We are busy stimulating and promoting our industry, and Italy is the first country with which we have forged such strong co-production ties because there is such synergy.”

Calvi said Italian films are popular in Argentina, and that its industry has a relatively large penetration in the Spanish-language market as reasons for the pact being mutually beneficial.

The two countries signed the film co-production deal in 2007 and that has spawned several standout movies, including Daniel Burman’s “Empty Nest.”

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