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After little more than three years in the business, outsiders Francisco Gonzalez Compean and Martha Sosa have proved they can bite as well as bark.

“Amores Perros” (“Love’s a Bitch”), only the second pic made by Altavista Films, headed by Gonzalez Compean, won some 30 international awards during 2000 and 2001, starting with the Intl. Critics Week at last year’s Cannes.

Helmer Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s “Amores,” which had critics raving over its three tales of gritty life in Mexico City held together by a common canine thread, was also Sosa’s first as exec producer.

Studio was set up as a joint venture between Corporacion Interamericana de Entretenimiento, Latin America’s leading live entertainment provider, and investment capitalist Sinca Inbursa; a question mark initially hung over the studio’s ability to match its cash with bigscreen expertise.

Gonzalez Compean came from advertising, while Sosa was a former TV journalist. The pair adopted an unashamedly commercial approach in an industry dominated by arthouse cinema.

“They’re picking scripts that they can sell,” says one fellow producer.

Sosa currently remains busy managing the success of “Amores,” while Altavista is readying “Atletico San Pancho,” a comedy about an incompetent amateur soccer team, for a June release.