As Films in Progress, San Sebastian’s Latin American pix-in-post sidebar, began to unspool at the Spanish festival, the Mercosur Audiovisual Programme (MAP) held a brunch in the Kursaal on Tuesday to present its latest initiatives, attended by directors, producers, distributors and sales agents.
MAP is a €1.86 million ($2.42 million) cooperation convention inked in 2008 between the European Union, that provides $1.95 million in funding, and Mercosur - Latin America’s free trade zone, with Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Venezuela as full members.
Martin Papich, executive secretary of Mercosur’s film and TV consultancy body, Recam, and director of the Uruguay Film and TV Institute, hosted the MAP brunch.
He was accompanied by MAP director, Guillermo Saura and Gustavo Lang, head of the Argentina Film-TV Institute, INCAA, and responsible for MAP’s executive management.
Papich presented the program’s burgeoning 30-screen digital cinema network. “This is a key turning point for Latin American cinema: Our digital screens offer an alternative distribution network that constitutes a great opportunity for producers and directors,” he said.
In conjunction with its D-cinema network, MAP is also overseeing initiatives fostering content digitalization, film preservation, audiovisual training and international sales.
Equally importantly, MAP is also developing synergies with other important initiatives in the region, including Europa Cinemas, which has a 50-screen network in Latin America, and the Ibero-American Conference of Film Authorities (CACI), which runs the Ibermedia, IbermediaTV and DocTV programs and the Iberoamerican Audiovisual Observatory.
"We’re stepping up the synergies between Mercosur Audiovisual and other programs in the region,” Papich explained. “New joint initiatives will be unveiled over the coming months.”