Government Fund Heads from Latin America, Spain, Portugal to Meet in Buenos Aires During Ventana Sur (EXCLUSIVE)

Ventana Sur
Courtesy of Ventana Sur

Organized by the Cannes Festival and Market and Argentina’s INCAA film agency, this year’s Ventana Sur, the biggest film-TV event in Latin America, is rapidly gaining in critical mass.

In one crucial development, INCAA president Luis Puenzo confirmed to Variety that Ventana Sur will coincide with the latest meetings of CAACI, the body of governmental audiovisual authorities in Ibero-America – Latin America, Spain and Portugal – and of its biggest dedicated film fund, Ibermedia.

Both will run parallel to Ventana Sur, which takes place Nov. 29-Dec. 3.

The agenda for CAACI meeting will not have been drawn up. But two issues look inevitably to be on the table, one way or another. One is support measures to aid the recuperation of the region’s film industries. The COVID-19 pandemic hit harder and for longer in Latin America than most parts of the world.

Another is how to ensure a healthy growth of local film-TV industries at a time when U.S. global studio streamers have emerged in much of the region as a life raft for bigger local production companies.

“I’d say there’s no region in the world that is not imagining its future. But that’s not just a question of emerging from the pandemic. If we talk about audiovisual production in Latin America, the plague has accelerated what we saw coming. “Times have changed, bringing other stories and ways of producing and distributing them. But that’s the history cinema and we’re prepared,” said Puenzo.

“Changes in circumstances were always like that, in technology, creators’ viewpoints and spectators’ habits,” Puenzo added, saying that change should be seen as a “challenge” and an “opportunity to imagine.” Imagine means literally to construct images, he noted.

Whether Latin America will table legislation equivalent to the E.U. Audiovisual Media Services Directive is a moot question indeed, however. The health of the local film industry hardly seems a priority in either Mexico or Brazil.

TV series production and new technologies, in the sense of synergies with other audiovisual sectors, are, however, gaining in profile at Ventana Sur.

Having driven into arthouse, animation and genre, Ventana Sur announced at the Cannes Marché du Film that it will launch an extensive video games forum, Las Maquinitas, at this year’s edition.

Madrid-based Spotlight is offering cash prizes of €15,000 ($17,700) and €5,000 ($5,900) for the development of two Latin American series at Ventana Sur’s SoloSerieS, in return for exclusive rights over 18 months.

In another sign of potential rebound, Ventana Sur has never received so many requests for accreditation, its co-director Bernardo Bergeret noted at San Sebastián.

Far more Latin Americans traveled to San Sebastian this week than last year. But Ventana Sur looks like it could mark the region’s big reunion.