Mexican start-up production company AltaVista Films - which has its second feature, Love's A Bitch (Amores Perros) in Cannes competition - is prepping a slate of Spanish-language films to shoot before the end of the year.

First up out of the new production house is Fernando Sarinana's Smoke In Your Eyes (Humo En Tus Ojos), a romantic comedy now shooting in Mexico with actors Jesus Ochoa, Lisa Owen and Jorge Poza. In addition, Oscar-nominated short film director Antonio Urrutia, will shoot border drama Tijuana in October. The film is written by Beatriz Novarra and casting for the American 50-something male lead is underway. Casting is also underway for comedy Estocada, which shoots in Mexico in October.

The three projects fall into the $1.2m-$2.2m budget range which director general Francisco Gonzalez Compean says will make up at least half of the company's annual slate. The other half will be higher-budgeted international co-productions.

The company - housed alongside distributor NuVision under the Estudio Mexico Films (EMF) umbrella - is shaping up as an important Mexican player. Love's A Bitch was executive produced by Martha Sosa Elizondo and Gonzalez Compean. Lion's Gate acquired rights before Cannes. The film marked the entry into cinema of Mexican co-producer Zeta Film, an ads and TV production house.