Latin Americans renew pic grants

Brazilian, Argentinian co-prods get cash infusion

Argentina’s Incaa film board and Brazil’s Ancine film agency have agreed to finance a second year of grants administed by the Argentina-Brazil Co-production Fund, Incaa prexy Liliane Mazure announced in Berlin.

Four films — two lead Brazilian co-productions, two Argentinean — will receive $200,000 each in 2012. The average budget for an Argentinean pic is around $1 million.

Brazil is Argentina’s most obvious export market, and vice versa. Co-productions, though growing, have been relatively rare but that may change as the strength of Brazil’s currency makes Argentinean shoots significantly cheaper these days.

Shooting in Spanish, Brazilian directors can target a market of 300 million inhabitants worldwide, bigger than Brazil’s 191 million Portuguese speakers.

Last year’s recipients included, from Argentina, “All In” from Daniel Burman, which opens in Argentina on March 29 and was co-produced by Brazil’s Gullane; and “Habi la extranjera,” co-produced by Lita Stantic (“The Holy Girl”) and Walter Salles’ Videofilmes.

Meanwhile, another Brazil-Argentinean co-production, though not a fund recipient, is “The Uprising,” which Eric Mathis’ Miami-based Ondamax Films is selling at Berlin.

Raphael Aguinaga’s feature debut, “Uprising” is co-produced out of Brazil by Querosene Filmes, headed by former NBCUniversal exec Joao Queiroz, and Luis Sartor at Argentina’s Zarlek Prods., whose credits include “Medianeras” and “Puzzle,” Berlin sales standouts this year and last.

“Uprising” is a feel-good comedy set at a retirement home, whose senior citizens are suddenly energized by the belief that there’s a Jesus clone is in the neighborhood.

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