The E.U. and Latin America’s Mercosur have inked a three-year Co-operation Convention, dubbed Mercosur Audiovisual, to strengthen film-making and aid access to homegrown films in Mercosur countries.

Running 2009-11, Mercosur Audiovisual boasts a Euros1.86 million ($2.75 million) budget, $2.2 million being put up by the E.U., Eva Piwowarski, RECAM technical secretary, announced in San Sebastian Sunday.

The Mercosur presentation was also made by Bernardo Bergeret, INCAA director, international affairs, and Rachel Monteiro, intl. consultant, Cinema do Brasil.

Made up of Argentina and Brasil, plus Paraguay and Uruguay, Mercosur is an E.U.-style attempt to open up markets.

Mercosur Audivisual homes in on much-needed innovations, such as the creation of a 30 screen-plus digital cinema circuit in the four countries.

Details still have to be settled, said Silvio Da-Rin, Brazil’s Audiovisual Secretary of State for Brazil, which currently holds the rotating Mercosur presidency.

“The screens will create outlets for films from Europe and other Mercosur member countries,” said Da-Rin.

The Convention also contemplates a larger legislative harmonization, particularly, Da-Rin said, to ease customs regs for prints and film materials.

A five-point plan, Mercosur Audiovisual aims to strengthen the Mercosur Audiovisual Observatory, another Mercosur movie digitization, a last to step up training initiatives, targeting Paraguay and international sales .

“Nobody doubts the high quality of our production sector. But we have to increase our capacity to sell films, generating business,” Piwowarski said in San Sebastian.

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