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TNT Latin America to profile helmers

Half-hours's subjects will include Cuaron, Inarritu

TNT Latin America launches its second original program, “Latin American Directors,” on Aug. 6.

Thirteen half-hours will profile the region’s most prominent helmers, including Alfonso Cuaron, Fernando Meirelles, Guillermo del Toro, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Andres Wood and Marcelo Pineyro.

Skein follows in the wake of the cable movie channel’s first original program, “Project 48,” a docu-reality show where a team of local amateur filmmakers is given 48 hours to film, edit and post-produce a short.

“Project 48” has been running for four years. It started in the key markets of Brazil, Mexico and Argentina and later expanded to Venezuela, Peru and Chile.

“These programs fulfill two aims: to produce local content and to support the local film community,” said TNT svp and general manager Rick Perez.

TNT, which is available outside the U.S. only in Latin America, is in talks with sister channel TCM in Europe to adapt the two formats. TCM is a global brand that reaches more than 100 million subs worldwide.

TNT Latin America, with17 million subs, is among the growing number of pan-regional webs investing in original programming.

“We need to be relevant to the local market,” Perez said. “While pan-regionals can’t compete with the local stations, they can provide alternative programming.”

The Viacom unit has been in the region for 16 years and ranks among the top 10 pan-regional webs. It also has seen its ad sales double in recent years.

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