In what can only be a positive bellwether of Colombia’s burgeoning film biz, the industry’s first international sales agency, Atmosferas Sales, launched during the 58th Cartagena Int’l Film Festival (FICCI), which ran Feb. 28 thru March 5.
Founded by producer-helmer Luis Montealegre and Andrea Moreno, Atmosferas Sales aims to address the ‘Achilles heel’ of the Colombian and Latin American film industry on the whole: Sales and distribution.
“As Colombian film production increases exponentially, with over 40 films released in cinemas only in 2017, we saw the need for promoting and exporting these productions to international markets, opening new windows for our cinema and our culture” said Moreno, a former sales exec for Paris-based Films Distribution (now Playtime Group) and for FICCI director Diana Bustamente’s shingle, Burning Blue (“Land and Shade,” “Violence”).
“Out of 40 plus Colombian films produced last year, perhaps no more than 15% have been picked up for international sales,” Moreno observed. The company plans to handle at least 10 titles on its first year.
The new sales company also aims to “connect Latin American cinema and become a reference of the best pieces released in the region.”
Atmosferas Sales kicked off operations with its first acquisitions at Cartagena with Colombian-Brazilian-German co-production “Whisper of the Jaguar;” Alvaro Torres Crespo’s stunning docu about Costa Rican artisanal gold miners, “We the Stones” and FICCI best Colombian film winner, “Dawn” (“Amanecer”), docu director Carmen Torres’s personal quest to find her biological mother.
Thais Guisasola and Simone Jaikiriuma Paetau shared the best director award for their Amazon-set queer punk road movie “Whisper of the Jaguar” while “We the Stones” won best docu at FICCI. All three titles are directorial feature debuts.
While Montealegre heads to Guadalajara, Moreno will be attending Cannes. “As a producer and director myself, I also want to make sure that the teams we work with get the best opportunities available in the market. It is a win-win for all of us,” said Montealegre.