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Latino fest promotes pix for U.S. distrib

Web site will list films available for domestic screens

HOLLYWOOD — The Los Angeles Latino Intl. Film Festival has launched a Web site that will provide a list of Iberoamerican cinema available to the U.S. market as part of its year-round objective to spur further U.S. distribution of cinema from Spain, Portugal and Latin America.

The free online service, LatinoFilmWorks.com, kicked off this week. According to LALIFF co-founder Edward James Olmos, the comprehensive Net service will be updated daily and feature up to 700 Iberoamerican pics ranging from classics to recent productions with their sales availability in all platforms.

A separate catalog provides a listing of more than 200 Iberoamerican production and distrib companies.

Olmos and LALIFF exec director-co-founder Marlene Dermer also presented the Ibermedia Fund at the American Film Market in Santa Monica on Friday.

Founded in 1998 with seven member countries, the $4 million annual fund has grown to encompass 13 members, with Puerto Rico a recent addition. Ibermedia has backed “El crimen del Padre Amaro,” “La cienaga,” “Lista de espera” and “Kamchatka.”

Last year, Ibermedia supported 30 pics out of 84 applicants. “We expect more than 100 applicants this year, due to a huge increase of projects from Brazil,” Ibermedia executive secretary Elena Villardel said. “We are still looking into how U.S. Hispanic producers can participate in the fund.”

“At present non-Iberoamerican producers can contribute no more than 30% to the budget of an Ibermedia-backed project,” Ibermedia president Jose Maria Otero said. “The program subsidies are bestowed for production, project development, distribution and professional training.”

LALIFF also is programming monthly screenings of Iberoamerican films at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood.

Fest is planning an outdoor screening of an unspecified pic starring Mexican comic icon Cantinflas at the Santa Monica Pier in the summer.

LALIFF will celebrate its eighth edition July 16-25.

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