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AFM: IM Global, Alex Garcia Ink Latin American. U.S. Pact (EXCLUSIVE)

In what bids fair to be the most heavyweight U.S.-Latin American movie deal of 2014, Stuart Ford’s IM Global and Alex Garcia’s AG Studios and Itaca have inked an exclusive output relationship.

Kicking in at the AFM, the alliance – whose consequences will now play out over Latin America and indeed the U.S., beginning at this week’s Los Cabos Fest – sees sales-financing-distribution shingle IM Global, one of Hollywood’s preeminent indie sales-financing-distribution congloms, servicing international sales and distribution for English, Spanish and Portuguese-language titles from Garcia’s Itaca and AG Studios, whose film operations stretch from L.A. to New Orleans, Mexico City, Colombia and Brazil.

IM Global will handle world sales on AG Studios and Itaca English-language titles. Mundial, a joint venture between IM Global and Canana launched in late 2012, will manage sales on Spanish and Portuguese-language titles.

Garcia has already produced a string of English-lingo films like “Words With Gods” and “Captive,” with David Oyelowo and Kate Mara.

The new partners will now decide which English-language films will be included in the deal, said Garcia. IM Global is already selling Jonas Cuaron’s “Forsaken,” which Garcia co-produced.

At AFM, Mundial is repping three Itaca Mexico co-productions: romantic comedies “Love of My Life,” from Manolo Caro, who scored in Mexico with his relationship dramedy “I Don’t Know Whether to Slit My Wrists or Leave Them Long,” and Chris Hool’s Riviera Maya-set “Change of Heart,” plus comedic Mexican ‘80s pop homage “Laying Low,” from Beto Gomez (“Saving Private Gomez”).

The deal excludes Mexico where AG Studios has a successful distribution operation — Latam Pictures — and is non-exclusive for the U.S. Crucially, the pact also calls for IM Global to consult and advise on Itaca and AG Studios’ upcoming slate.

Agreement represents a meeting of like – and lively – minds. Both IM Global and AG Studios/Itaca have built into mini-congloms without taking on huge infrastructure, and proved sensitive to regional and national growth markets: IM Global launching Latin American sales company Mundial with Canana, and a pan-Asian acquisitions and distribution operation, Apsara; Itaca created Itaca Colombia and Itaca Brazil.

“Alex’s company is not only the most prolific but smartest financier in Latin America, a real powerhouse. He brings a family of relationships with many other top producers and filmmakers in the region, which is hugely exciting for us,” Ford said. “Also, Alex has been producing (and) financing very cool English-language American films. We’re aligned with them for broader strategic growth than Latin America.”

Said Garcia: “IM Global has done an amazing job not only in Latin American but the whole world. Latin American cinema, including Brazil, needs a company to (sell it) and promote (it) worldwide: IM Global is exactly that company.”

The combined strength of Itaca Brazil productions with IM Global’s muscle and know-how worldwide will prove interesting, he said.

In Brazil, Itaca is already involved in four productions, Garcia added.

“Latam Pictures is pleased to be in partnership with IM Global, which has important sales outlets on a worldwide level,” added Mineko Mori, Latam Pictures head.

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