Pubcaster RTVE “highly values” Latin American co-productions
As film and TV markets continuously transform, new players such as telcos or tech companies are joining the global content production sector. As was underscored by a San Sebastián Fest round table on co-production opportunities with TV networks that broadcast Latin content, taking place Monday, the growing activity of giant Telefonica is becoming increasingly crucial for the Latin American and Spanish sector.
Telefonica, whose film and TV assets includes Argentina’s broadcaster Telefé and Spain’s paybox Movistar TV, has converted its obligations to produce film and TV contents -8 films per year in Argentina; in Spain, 6% of revenues - into a competitive advantage, said Axel Kuschevatzky, Telefonica Digital’s director of int’l film production, and head of Telefonica Studios.
A key film and TV exec in the region, Kuschevatzky warned, however, at San Sebastián: “We are dangerously closing to reaching saturation in content offer. Maybe in two years the market would be absolutely Darwinian, and only the tallest will survive.”
Yet, despite the bigger picture, the exec sees opportunities in domestic content production: “It’s important to rescue local voices. In all the countries the consumption of local production is growing. But it should be produced with an open style, so as to allow it to be understood in other territories.”
David Matamoros, Zentropa Spain CEO, who moderated the event, cited one opportune example: Alberto Rodríguez’s San Sebastián-contender Marshland, a True Detective-sque thriller on two homicide cops on the trail of a serial killer of teen girls in the marshlands outside Seville.
Although sharing a common-language, it is not easy for Latin American and Spain producers to partner with companies from the same territory.
Spanish pubcaster RTVE “highly values the co-productions with Latin America, when they involve Spain or European Union partners,” said Fernando López Puig, head of film and fiction.
Per López, “there is not a global Latin culture, but points in common,” that allowed the broadcaster to team on TV movie Descalzo sobre la tierra roja with Catalonia›s pubcaster TV3 and Brazil’s TV de Brasil.
A current business opportunity for the biggest companies from outlying countries outside the U.S. is to board around $20 million pics such as Mediaset Espana’s The Impossible, a type of film which Hollywood has abandoned,” said Kuschevatzky, who considers that selling international product is easier for film productions than TVs.
The round table, forming part of the 3rd Europe-Latin America Co-Production Forum, was backed by Catalonia’s orgs Proa and Catalan Films. emiliano de pablos