Mori to oversee theatrical, Caso handles TV sales
GUADALAJARALos Angeles and Mexico City-based Alex Garcia, Latin America’s biggest indie movie producer-financier, is setting up Latam Distribution, focusing on Latin America and U.S. Hispanic distribution and sales. Shingle will distribute movies in Mexico and handle sales in the U.S. Hispanic market and Latin America. Former Paramount distrib exec Mineko Mori is heading theatrical distribution; Eduardo Caso, who worked at Turner Television Networks, will handle TV sales. Garcia unveiled Latam’s first slate at Mexico’s Guadalajara Festival on Tuesday, where helmer-scribe Carlos Cuaron’s “Sugar Kisses,” which Garcia produced, world preems in competition. Fest wraps on Saturday. Slate includes Paul Schrader-written revenge drama “The Jesuit,” with Tim Roth; Alfonso Pineda Ulloa’s chiller “Espectro,” with Paz Vega; Edgar Ramirez-starrer “Saluda al diablo de mi parte”; comedy “Guia de turistas,” starring Sandra Echeverria (“Savages,” “Casa de mi padre”); Alfonso Pineda’s suspense love story “Restos” and Mexican theater adaptation “No se si cortarme las venas o dejarmelas largas.” Latam is currently rolling off its first hit, the Mexico release of Colombian Carlos Moreno’s “The Snitch Cartel.” Opening Jan. 11, it cumed $2.7 million through Feb. 24, a creditable result in a tough market for anything but big pic fare. The new sales-distrib banner will tap films that Garcia finances and co-finances through his multiple production partnerships in the U.S., Mexico and Latin America. Garcia partners in BN Films, launched December with $150 million financing, which has offices in Santa Monica and Mexico City. He has also invested in Billy and Fernando Rovzar’s U.S. and Mexico-based Lemon Films, Mexico City’s Itaca Films, Bazooka Films and Anima Estudios, and Eduardo Costantini’s Costa Films in Argentina. He is co-producing with Colombia’s Dynamo, Rhayuela, 11:11 Films and RCN Cine. Latam launches as the region has become one of the fastest-growing but most complex markets in the world, driven by pay TV operators and Netflix. “If you want to do international sales for Europe you think about big European names, the same thing in the States, but if you think of Latin America, there’s no specialist,” Garcia said. The next step will be to talk to sales companies that handle international rights for other parts of the world, he added. Latam will also make third-party acquisitions.