H’wood buying up Argentinean titles

Hollywood’s majors have begun an export drive on Argentine pics in return for the studios’ bringing movies into Argentina for exhibition there.

Disney has taken select Latin American rights to “All In” from Argentinean helmer Daniel Burman. It has also snapped up animated feature “Selkirk, the Real Robinson Crusoe,” an Argentina-Uruguay co-production.

In all, Disney has committed to export five Argentinean films this year, Liliana Mazure, prexy of the Incaa national film board, said at the European Film Market Saturday.

Hollywood’s other local operations — Fox, Sony, Warner Bros. and Universal — are also expected to acquire four to five Argentinean films for export outside Argentina this year, according to sources.

The majors’ export drive on Argentinean pics comes following pressure from the government.

“It is important to export grains, machinery, technology, but it is very important to export our culture, our values,” Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner announced at a meeting of Argentinean film professionals and Buenos Aires-based studio execs in early December.

The Argentinean government is aghast at U.S. blockbusters’ near-monopoly of screens — sometimes Hollywood product is playing on nearly 90% of Argentina’s screens.

Prior to the December meeting, the government presented execs from Disney, Fox, Sony, Universal and WB with details of 120 films from 40 producers and dozens of TV productions from Dori Media Group, Endemol and Telefe Intl., among others.

The Argentinean governmental demands do not look particularly onerous, however.

On “All In” and “Selkirk,” Disney has taken distribution rights to Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Peru and Ecuador, plus Latin American TV rights.

Theatrical bows outside Argentina will depend on how well the titles perform on home turf, Mazure said.

Burman is one of Argentina’s top directors, and “All In,” which stars popular Argentine actress Valeria Bertuccelli, is his biggest-budgeted movie to date.

Latin American TV rights are also appreciating, given the demand for Latin American movies from regional pay TV operators.

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