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Brazil opens up to arthouse

New outfit Lume takes M-Appeal trio

Guadalajara– Already paying significantly more for mainstream indie titles, Brazil is beginning to open up to arthouse movies as well.

Underscoring the trend, Berlin-based sales company M-Appeal has just inked a deal with Lume Filmes on a trio of titles: Venezuela’s “Hermano,” Colombia’s “Karen Cries on the Bus,” and M-Appeal’s first U.S. indie pick-up, Mark Jackson’s “Without.”

“Brazil is very exciting at the moment,” M-Appeal’s head of acquisitions Anne Wiedlack said at the Guadalajara Festival, which began Friday.

“The money paid may not be spectacular but there’s a lot of new Brazilian distributors who are film-lovers and willing to work on the theatrical release of smaller art films,” she added, also citing Rio de Janeiro-based Tucuman Distribuidora de Filmes, which distribs cult and South American titles.

Lume will give its M-Appeal pick-ups a theatrical release, Wiedlack said, launching the films at its Lume Film Festival in north Brazil’s Sao Luis.

European distributors are used to tapping Media Program aid on European films. Outside Brazil and Chile, few Latin American governments support their pics’ international distribution.

But Latin American pay TV prices are rising and some countries’ production sectors – Chile, Colombia, Mexico – are on a roll, Wiedlack argued.

Recent M-Appeal sales underscore at least steady business for higher-profile titles. Korea’s IBS and Australia’s SBS Television have acquired “Hermano,” the Netherland’s ABC Distribution Chilean gay boxer tale “My Last Round” and Brazil’s “So Hard to Forget.”

Wiedlack is in Guadalajara to hunt for M-Appeal’s first Mexican pickup, she said.

Guadalajara runs March 2-10.

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