You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Pay TV, Co-prods Power Up Guadalajara

Market rolls off Latin America’s market build

MEXICO CITY — U.S. and Latin American pay TV and co-production talks drove dealings at Mexico’s Guadalajara Film Market last week — as they do to an increasing extent in Latin America at large.

Mexico’s biggest industry meet, the Film Market also underscored how Mexico’s movie industry is benefiting ever more from U.S.-Mexico initiatives aimed at Latin America at large.

In the latest U.S./Mexico play for Latin American talent and markets — and Guadalajara’s biggest announcement — L.A. and Mexico City-based producer-financier Alex Garcia revealed details of Latam Distribution, a new Mexico City outfit that is distributing Garcia’s productions in Mexico and selling them on to the U.S. Hispanic market and the rest of Latin America.

Like investment fund Participant PanAmerica and sales company Mundial, an IM Global/Canana initiative, Latam zeroes in on the rights value of Latin American movies, in Latam Distribution’s case more specifically in Latin America, one of the fastest growing movie markets in the world.

Challenged now by Netflix, companies working pay TV windows provide much of that build. They made much of the running at Guadalajara.

Pay TV channel Cinelatino, owned by Mexico’s MVS Television, closed a six French-pic package from Pyramide International, including Jeanne Moreau starrer “A Lady in Paris” and Iranian first-timer Massoud Bakhshi’s Teheran corruption thriller “A Respectable Family,” both playing Guadalajara’s International Panorama.

Atlanta-based and U.S. studio-backed LAP TV, which operates Latin American premium channel Moviecity, HBO, Magnolia, Shoreline, Lap TV and Outsider Pictures were prominent among attendees at the Market, where the U.S. boasted by far the biggest industry presence of any foreign industry. More U.S. and Latin American pay TV window deals look set to go down — and sometimes be announced — in upcoming days.

The first deal unveiled at Guadalajara’s Co-production Meeting — and on one of the Meeting’s buzz titles — was Barcelona-based Eddie Saeta’s boarding “Franco’s Night,” from Mexico’s Bernardo Arellano (“Between Night and Day”). Mexico’s Agrupacion Caramelo Cinematografica lead produces, Eddie Saeta, which co-produced Cannes 2010’s Palme d’Or winner “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives,” has taken a minority equity stake.

“A dark bloody suspense thriller with a tragic finale,” in Arellano’s words, “Franco’s Night” turns on a violent criminal who holes up at a bedraggled hotel, only to fall perilously in love.

Other buzz Guadalajara Market titles included Jose Luis Valle’s “Workers,” which won the fest’s best Mexican pic Mezcal Prize and has closed Switzerland with Trigon-Film. Sales company MPM Film is following up interest in the U.S., and is in advanced negotiations for France, Germany, Benelux and Latin America, said MPM’s Pierre Menahem.

First Work Award winner “So Much Water,” from Uruguays’s Ana Guevara and Leticia Jorge — which also scooped a Fipresci nod at Cartagena and the screenplay and Knight Grand Jury Prize at the early-March Miami Fest, which comes with $15,000 for U.S. distribution — has closed Brazil with Providence Filmes and is in discussions for France, Romania, Germany and Sweden, said Virginie Devesa, at sales agency Alpha Violet.

As part of plaudits at pix-in-post competish Guadalajara Construye, Mexico’s Latinofusion offered a $15,000 minimum guarantee for international sales on “The Lamb,” from Chile’s Juan Francisco Olea Simunovic, about a devout man who discovers he has no sense of guilt.

Further GC kudos were shared by “Lamb,” Mexican Max Zunino’s “Los banistas,” a friendship tale between a jobless 65-year-old man and a penniless girl drifter, and Amaia and Aitor Merino’s “Asier and I,” a post ETA-ceasefire docu narrated to camera by the confused and often funny Aitor Merino.

Combined with a swing through Mexico City — many top Mexican producers did not make this year’s meet — Guadalajara is now shaping up as an obvious port-of-call for execs looking to develop business in Mexico.

“With Brazil, Mexico is Latin America’s biggest territory. Its distributors don’t have time for meetings at the AFM, Cannes and Berlin, since they’re focused on negotiating big titles, but you can catch many of them at Guadalajara,” said Film Factory’s Vicente Canales.

As Mexico and Latin America build in importance, that is no longer an anecdotal fact at all.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Dowdle Brothers

    The Dowdle Brothers Tackle New 'Friday Night Lights' Movie (EXCLUSIVE)

    John Erick and Drew Dowdle, aka the Dowdle brothers, have boarded Universal Pictures’ reimagining of “Friday Night Lights.” Both will do a polish on the script, with John Erick directing and Drew exec producing. Sources tell Variety that the movie is not a sequel to Universal’s 2004 film starring Billy Bob Thornton, nor is it [...]

  • Roman Polanski's Accuser Reached Out to

    Roman Polanski's New Accuser Reached Out to L.A. Prosecutors in Early 2017

    Valentine Monnier, the former actor who recently went public with her accusation that Roman Polanski raped her 44 years ago, sent an anonymous letter to L.A. prosecutors in early 2017 detailing those allegations, sources tell Variety. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office has confirmed that it received such a letter in February 2017 and [...]

  • Tomas Davison

    MGM Studios Exec Tomas Davison Dies at 43

    MGM Studios executive Tomas Davison died on Nov. 16 in Miami. He was 43. The cause of his death is still pending. Davison joined the studio over a year ago where he was tapped for the position of senior VP of international television distribution Latin America and U.S. Hispanic. During his time at the studio, [...]

  • Hello Ahma

    SGIFF: Shorts Panorama Highlights Breadth of Singapore Talent

    It didn’t take long for the shorts programme that is part of the Singapore International Film Festival’s Singapore Panorama strand at the National Museum of Singapore on Nov. 27 to sell out. That is because the Singaporean audience is well aware that the best and brightest of filmmaking talent from the country cut their teeth [...]

  • Harriet Tubman Cynthia Erivo

    AMC Theatres Fires Three Employees Over Racial Profiling Incident During 'Harriet' Screening

    AMC Theatres has fired three employees in one of its Louisiana multiplexes after an incident during a screening of “Harriet.” An African American women’s group called the 504 Queens allege that 15 members were racially profiled while watching “Harriet” at AMC’s Clearview Palace 12 in Metairie on Nov. 7. A letter sent from the organization’s [...]

  • Accept the Call

    Eunice Lau Returns to Singapore With Hard-Hitting Documentary ‘Accept The Call’

    New York-based Singaporean filmmaker Eunice Lau is back in her home country for the Asian premiere of her impactful documentary “Accept The Call” at the Singapore International Film Festival. This is the film’s third outing, after premiering at the Human Rights Watch and Woodstock Film festivals. In Woodstock, it received a special mention for best [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content