Mexico’s Cinema226, run by Marco Antonio Salgado and Sam Guillén, is driving into a raft of Mexico, Argentina and Spain co-productions, playing off the current vibrancy of Mexican film production funding and distribution outlets.
Among the projects are titles which have been standouts at Ventana Sur’s Blood Window, the next film by Mexico-based Argentine filmmaker Paula Markovitch and films by young Mexican and Argentine cineasts which have participated in laboratories and co-production events around the world.
Salgado and Guillén are also tapping into production partnerships with producers based out of Córdoba, which can bring extra film financing to productions beyond federal support from INCAA. Whilst some past incentive lines from INCAA have closed, Córdoba film support, though finite in budget, looks still to be strong.
“Thanks to Eficine 189 Mexico is a more active participant in the field of international co-productions,” Salgado told Variety. “Because of this, between 50% and 70% of our contributions in these co-productions come from this support.”
Four deals have been announced so far, with more to come in the near future.
“The Blue-Eyed Frog,” the love story of an elderly couple in Mexico City and the Córdoba region of Argentina, is written and directed by Markovitch, a prized talent since her 2011 “The Prize” won plaudits at Berlin, Mar del Plata and Argentina’s Ariel Awards. The film is co-produced by Córdoba’s Lorena Quevedo, the Argentine producer of Ventana Sur Copia Final player “Venezia,” from Rodrigo Guerrero.
Rubén Rojo’s “Coraje,” is a Mexican-Spanish co-production between Apapacho Films and Mago Productions respectively. The film has taken part in laboratories and co-production forums in Berlin, Guadalajara and Málaga, among others. Cinema226 finalized the agreement to board while at Ventana Sur.
Fantasy-horror film, “The Muglur,” written and directed by Lucila Las Heras, was a highlight at last year’s Blood Window and Catalonia’s Sitges Fantastic Film Festival. It’s a co-production with Argentina’s Ñapango – formed by Ariana Spenza, Nicolás Savignone and Las Heras herself – which recently presented “Neither Hero nor Traitor”, from Nicolás Savignone, at San Sebastian’s Films In Progress. “The Mulgur” is based on an original monster that lives in a book, and can grant great inspiration, but at a cost.
“Never Alone,” a co-production with Paola Suárez’s newly-formed Jaque Content Argentina, is a psychological thriller directed by Alfredo Ybarra, produced by Guillén (“El Año de la Plaga”), Salgado (“Feral”) and Suárez. The film turns on a psychiatrist who returns to work after many years absence following the suicide of one of her patients, to take on the case of a man accused of pedophilia.
Cinema226 is also currently in advanced talks on two projects, one from Spain and the other Argentina, which took place in this year’s Blood Window pitching.
“Without a doubt Ventana Sur is a space in which dreams and genius ideas circulate through the air and the corridors of its headquarters, and in us,” Salgado told Variety. He added, “We must have a strong sense of smell to sniff out the projects that suit us best, and that we can release quickly, and be proud of.”