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Buenos Aires’ Ventana Sur, Latin America’s biggest film-TV market, has set dates for its 2022 edition, which promises to be the first full-on reunion of its burgeoning regional industry in three long years.

Running Monday, Nov. 28 to Friday, Dec. 2, Ventana Sur has also launched a call for applications for Proyecta, its film co-production forum organized by Cannes’ Marché du Film and the San Sebastian Festival and targeting first or second film projects in development seeking co-production between Europe and Latin America.  

Launched in 2009, the Cannes Festival/Film Market initiative, organized in partnership with Argentina’s INCAA agency, looks vital to regional rebuild in Latin America. 

It also catches the industry as it is pulled by opposing pressures. Many film-TV professionals are anxious to curb non-essential travel. Yet film and TV industries are being positioned by regional and national governments alike in Latin America as a priority growth sector for post-pandemic recovery.

In Ventana Sur’s biggest new financing initiative, for example, Guadalajara’s Agavia Studios, the Film Commission of Mexico’s State of Jalisco and VS’ Blood Window are launching Oscura Tinta, a screenplay competition for fantasy/horror features carrying a $25,000 cash prize. 

As was underscored by the best-ever 13,400 accreditations at last month’s Annecy Festival, executives are avidly exploring growth opportunities in an increasingly complex international market.

Latin American presence at markets in Europe this year has been stymied by the escalating cost of air travel, many air tickets now double pre-pandemic prices. Many will find the travel cost to Buenos Aires far more affordable.

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Sublime Credit: Meikincine

A One-Stop Shop

So, post-pandemic, Ventana Sur is underscoring its unique position in Latin America as a one-stop industry shop with unrivalled attendance figures.

As in all prior editions, screenings will take place at the Cinemark Puerto Madero and the market at the UCA complex in Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires, a five minute walk away, the two sites forming a compact easy-to-work triangle with the chic but comfortable Hotel Madero, which houses many of Ventana Sur’s guests.

From 2009, when Ventana Sur launched its Primer Corte pix-in-post screening strand  – featuring Michael Rowe’s “Leap Year,” which went on to win Cannes Camera d’Or award for best first feature the following May –  Ventana Sur has launched a bouquet of forums targeting vital growth opportunities for its delegates: First Blood Window; then Animation!, organised with the Annecy Festival; and, next, Proyecta. Ventana Sur built steadily a TV strand from early editions, yielding SoloSerieS, a drama series project competition backed by Netflix. In 2021, it launched Las Maquinitas, a pioneering video game focus exploring synergies with film and TV sectors.

“After an online 2020 and hybrid 2021 edition, we are thrilled to be able to get back to business as usual in Buenos Aires. The Latin American market is ripe with creativity and the independent financing and sales market is still incredibly fertile, making Ventana Sur an unmissable event for anyone in the content sales, production and distribution industry, said Jérôme Paillard, Ventana Sur co-director,

He added: “With both a co-production forum and a TV arm in addition to its thriving film market, Ventana Sur is the ultimate all-in-one stop on your year-long festival and market circuit. We look forward to welcoming back longtime partners and greeting new participants.”

Bullish Attendance Figures

Ventana Sur has also released bullish attendance figures for its most recent editions which other events in Latin America can only dream of. 

Launched to ramp up sales on Latin American movies as he region ramped up production levels, Ventana Sur soon attracted hundreds of often young producers searching for co-production opportunities. They have proved in turn to be magnets for directors and writers. Hence the current makeup of Ventana Sur delegates. In 2019, Ventana Sur boasted 2,600 participants, including 425 non-Latin American international professionals. Attendees included 425 distributors, VOD platforms execs, sales agents, 70 festival programmers, 80 financiers and decision makers, 1,100 producers, and 900 directors and writers. 359 films and projects were presented. COVID-19 editions were on a par, with 2,500 online participants in 2020 and 2,657 for the hybrid edition of 2021.

The Business

A dizzying slew of deals were announced at Ventana Sur last December, many involving SVOD platforms – Netflix, HBO Max – or their production studios – VIS or Pantelion. Apart fro closing or unveiling deals, Ventana Sur is also a one-stop shop in other ways. 

“The event allows me to set my agenda for Latin America for the whole year,” said San Sebastian Festival director José Luis Rebordinos.  

Fest programmers identify titles for upcoming editions, Primer Corte titles “Sublime” and “Fogareu” being chosen for this year’s Berlin, while Proyecta title “1976” screened in Directors’ Fortnight. 

More than anything else, however, Ventana Sur allows buyers, producers and creatures to forge relationships which will stay them in good stead through the upcoming year.  In this sense, Ventana Sur last far longer than five days in delectable Argentine summer sunshine. 

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