Producer Anne-Marie Gelinas likes the Los Cabos Film Festival for its manageable size and strong industry presence — but the balmy weather doesn’t hurt either. “I really like this market because it’s big enough to attract very good contacts, small enough to meet with them and talk to them,” says the producer of “Cobarde,” a project in the Co-production Forum directed by Boris Rodriguez.

Rodriguez’s first feature was Canadian-set horror pic “Eddie the Sleepwalking Cannibal,” and “Cobarde”(which means Coward in English) will also take advantage of connections between Canada and Latin America.

An $8,000 prize is awarded to one of the projects, selected by a jury of industry professionals, while another prize package valued at $30,000 includes 40 hours of color correction and 40 hours of sound mixing.

It’s Gelinas’ second year at the Los Cabos festival, after being part of the Telefilm Canada delegation last year. “The festival is gaining momentum,” she says. Gelinas is developing two projects that will have either Mexican or Spanish co-producers involved, so the co-production market works well for making those contacts, she says.  A lot of people are coming straight from AFM in Los Angeles, she points out, plus “Canada is gloomy this time of year.”

“Cobarde” is ready to start casting soon, and the psychological thriller will be shot approximately half and half in English and Spanish. Set around a kidnapping and the murder of a union leader, it’s the story of a man who gets caught up with the wrong people and needs to find the strength to stay alive.

American distributors and equity partners are intrigued by the Spanish-language component to appeal to the U.S. Hispanic market, Gelinas says, “It’s what’s interesting to them.”