Argentina will host a major new international film market in Buenos Aires in November 2009, as part of a drive to ramp up exports of Argentine and Latin American films.
Argentine film authorities are in talks with Cannes Marche du Film for the Cannes market to collaborate on the event, Liliana Mazure, the new director of Argentina’s Incaa Film Institute announced Wednesday in San Sebastian.
The Marche will forseeably offer “know-how,” Mazure added.
The Buenos Aires market, which still lacks a name, will see some 200-250 buyers - sales agents, distributors and broadcast execs - being invited to Buenos Aires with flights and accomodation paid, at least for the market’s first year, she added.
“These events have been tried before and dwindled. We have to put the market on the map from the get-go,” Mazure told Variety.
Exact dates have yet to be fixed. But the market will run second half of November next year just after Argentina’s Mar del Plata Festival, offering buyers the chance to dovetail both in a single visit.
Latin American films tend towards arthouse fare. Given that, Mazure said she saw no clash with the IFDA-run American Film Market, which takes place in Los Angeles early November.
The Incaa will invite acquisition execs from Europe and Asian pubcasters, given Argentina’s burgeoning docu production, Mazure explained.
“Argentinian production, especially of documentaries, has grown tremendously - to 90 films a year. All parts of Argentina are producing films. We have to address distribution. We have a small domestic market,” said Mazure.
“And much Latin American production isn’t seen abroad,” she added.
The market marks one response to challenges currently facing the Argentine production sector.
Goosed by inflation - running around 25% - and far stronger thesp and technician union reg enforcement, a feature that cost $1 million three years ago now cost double to make, Oscar Kramer, producer of Cannes Competition player “Cronica de una fuga”, told Variety last month.
Meanwhile, inflation, and a slowing economy, and eroding overall Argentine B.O. Admissions plunged 11% through July, acording to Dis-Service.
One way forward for Argentine pic production is international pre-sales, sales and co-production, Kramer argues.
Another is hiking films’ ambitions.
“Our most established directors Aristarain, Pinyero, Campanella, Sorin are making new films. We have to ensure we can make big films from Argentina,” Mazure said.
Mazure confirmed at San Sebastian that the Incaa will raise the ceiling for Incaa subsidies from $825,000 to Pesos 3.5 million ($1.15 million) per pic.
The Incaa will also run two annual competitions for new director films, offering production coin and TV broadcast slots.
Incaa will also raise the number of its cinema theaters - dedicated hard-tops playing Argentine, Latin American and European fare - from 22 to 50 by 2009.
It will attempt to digitize a good part of these screens. To do so, it has inked with the Buenos Aires La Matanza U. for digital cinema software.
Charles Newbery contributed to this report.
Emiliano de PABLOS