Alonso Aguilar Castillo Los Cabos Festival
Courtesy: Los Cabos Festival

Mexican fest sets dates, launches Meet the Money finance forum

Launched in 2012 as a crossroads for U.S., Mexico and Canada movie industries – just as Mexican movies began to catch fire Stateside and as Mexico consolidated as a film power which can bring significant coin to the table – in another ahead-of-the-curve move, the 5th Los Cabos Intl. Film Festival will power up its successful Cabos TV showcase and open it up to the whole of Latin America.

Los Cabos has also set official dates for its 2016 edition of Nov.9-13, in its customary berth just after the American Film Market begins to wind down.

Cabos TV growth comes as key broadcasters in Latin America are reaching out to film talent to power-up a new generation of more premium TV dramas – think Daniel Burman’s show-run “Supermax,” Globo’s first 100% Globo Studios Spanish-language production, the talk of Natpe.

Also, key regional players are linking to the most energetic TV exporters to seek international markets for its top dramas: Unveiled at Mipcom, HBO Latin America’s alliance with sales giant Telemundo Internacional is just one example.

A hit when launched at Los Cabos in 2015, Cabos TV will now not only focus on not only Mexico but Latin America, showcasing four-to-five TV drama projects from the region.

“We had so many producers saying ‘We have something in TV, please let us pitch,’ that we’re opening up the showcase,” Los Cabos Fest director Alonso Aguilar-Castillo commented at Berlin.

“2015’s inaugural Cabos TV was a landmark for us,” said Aguilar Castillo. “Having representatives from Netflix, Amazon, HBO and AMC opened up a whole side of the business which we needed to tap.”

Having been spread out at spectacular but distanced hotels in 2015, most industry guests will be focused at a single hotel, where industry events will also unspool. “We’d like to create a more organic sense of networking,”

Adding to Meet Your Neighbors, a networking event, the 5th Los Cabos will also launch Meet the Money, a most probably dual financing program. As currently conceived, one part will focus on Mexican financiers for Mexican projects from up-and-coming Mexican producers, tapping into Mexico’s Efecine 189 tax break coin; and a second, focused on potential American financing for Latin American projects from top-of-class producers, aided by the Festival’s close working relationship with Hollywood’s agencies.

Los Cabos and Cannes Film market are teaming to launch the 1st Los Cabos Goes to Cannes, a Marché-hosted selection of four-to-five Mexican pix-in-post. Some may have screened at Los Cabos, others will be completely new, Aguilar Castillo said.

2015 was a high-mark to date for Los Cabos in terms of talent, often fruit of the relationship with Hollywood agencies. Liam Neeson presented Martin Scorsese’s “Silence,” Alexander Skarsgard “The Diary of a Teenage Girl,” Ian McShane and Lynn Collins “The Hollow Point.”

Eugenio Derbez announced his next film: “Latin Lover.” As did Gaz Akazraki, director of Netflix’s first Spanish-language series, “Club de cuervos”: “Almost Paradise.”

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