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Canana, Telefonica Team On Diego Luna’s ’Black Minutes’

Giant Europe telcomakes first movie investment in Mexico

CANNES — Telefonica Studios, the film-TV production arm of telco giant Telefonica, has entered Mexico, boarding “The Black Minutes,” starring Diego Luna and Demian Bichir, a flagship movie project from Canana, the Mexico City and L.A.-based production-sales company of Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna and Pablo Cruz.

Mundial, IM Global/Canana’s joint sales venture, is pre-selling “Black Minutes” at Cannes.

Channelled via Movistar Mexico, its telephony-Internet company, and Terra Networks Mexico, its Internet portal, Telefonica Studio’s investment, which sees it co-producing “The Black Minutes,” is its first in Mexico, as the company drives ever-deeper into Latin America’s movie industry.

Telefonica’s partnership with Canana is also a graphic illustration of how business is turning ever more on key scaled content creators and financiers, such as IM Global and Canana, linking to pay TV giants like Netflix or telco Telefonica, that are looking to high-profile content to drive for their brand and subs-driving value.

“We’re delighted to be working with Telefonica, with its outreach throughout Latin America and Spain, which gives us the dimension for the film that we have been pursuing,” said Canana’s Cruz.

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A tale of crime, corruption and cover-ups ignited when a 20-year-old cold case crashes into the present, “The Black Minutes’” scale, in stars, VFX and production value, will also help is snag powerful theatrical disturb partners in and outside Mexico.

Production is scheduled for late this year, Cruz said.

“Spain and Latin American countries need a bridge. Having Telefonica on board, being the player that it is, is a giant step towards crossing that bridge,” Cruz added.

For Telefonica Studios Axel Kuschevatzky, “Latin American cinema is finally coming together, the awareness of Latin American cinema in Latin America is now growing.”

Telefonica Studios has scored heavily in Argentina, co-investing via Telefe, Argentina’s biggest broadcast network in a slew of box office hits, led by Demian Szifron’s “Wild Tales” and Pablo Trapero’s “The Clan,” bringing to the table Telefe’s huge marketing muscle, more than any Hollywood studio can muster.  Via Argentina, it is co-producing Pablo Larrain’s Cannes Directors’ Fortnight.

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