Mexican Cinema: Financing, Crews, Locations Lure Global Productions


The spectacular rise of Mexico’s movie industry, which has increased feature film output fourfold in 10 years, may also offer cash-starved European producers a way out of Euroland austerity.

With various strands of private and public production financing unlocked through official co-production treaties, Mexico, with its spectacular locations, excellent crews and now the money to match, has rarely offered more, despite the problem of the ongoing violence from drug wars.

Barcelona-based Neo Art’s Antonio Navas is co-producing haunted house story “Darker Than Night” with Mexico’s Filmadora, Itaca and Celeste Films majority financing.

Tellingly, Navas says, “I’d rather wait until the film opens in Mexico before selling Spanish rights.”

Another seeking solace there is Spain’s Luis Angel Ramirez, whose Austronato label is co-producing two pictures with Mexico’s Arte Mecanica — the $3 million “The 4th Company” is already in the can — and another with Esfera Films, the Maria Valverde starrer “La Carga.”

“Mexico is a great example of a territory that got the structuring of film finance right,” Ramirez says.

And with two Mexican co-productions at Cannes this year — Pablo Fendrik’s “El Ardor,” co-produced by Canana, and Lisandro Alonso’s “Jauja,” starring Viggo Mortensen, co-produced by Mantarraya and sold by NDM — Mexico these days is co-pro loco.