The Latin American Film Co (TLAFCo), the three year-old joint venture between Eduardo Costantini of Costa Films and Harvey Weinstein of The Weinstein Company, has established a new strategic partnership with The Otero Group in Brazil.

Julia Otero of Otero Group will act as the senior partner of TLAFCo in Brazil and focus on the development of future projects to be shot in the country. Otero will also aim to secure tax incentive funds and evaluate potential investors to further expand the company.

Otero Group is a traditional investment banking family operating in the Brazilian entertainment industry since 1995. It owns one of the largest post-production houses in Latin America Estudios Mega as well as the 140-screen digital distribution network Rain and national record label Indie Records.

Funds from the new partnership will be applied to the development and production of a slate of Brazilian films; producers who will work closely with the company include Marcos Prada and Jose Padilha of Zazen Producoes, the talent behind TLAFCo's debut film Elite Squad, and Vania Catani of Bananeira Films with whom Costantini and his Costa Films is producing Verano Maldito (Accursed Summer) with director Luis Ortega later this year in Argentina and Brazil outside the TLAFCo structure.

Catani was a producer on Dead Girl's Party (A Festa Da Menina Morta) which is in Un Certain Regard at Cannes this week.

Costantini said from Buenos Aires yesterday that the company would be opening offices in Brazil in the next few weeks.

'I think TLAFCo will contribute with a refreshing new outlook on the way
movies are made in Brazil,' said Julia Otero in a statement. 'We will be focusing on acquiring and developing great stories that are relevant for Brazil and other parts of the world.'

'Our Latin American Fund got off to a tremendous start when its first film Tropa De Elite won the prestigious Golden Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival,' added Weinstein. This strategic partnership is the perfect way to continue the momentum and expand the company's reach in Brazil which is filled with talented directors eager to share their stories with the world. We look forward to working with Julia Otero and the Otero group as we continue to provide Latin American filmmakers with a global voice.'

TLAFCo is also a co-producer on Burning Plain, the directorial debut of Guillero Arriaga which stars Charlize Theron and Kim Basinger. Costa and TWC in association with TLAFCo will handle distribution in Latin America as part of the company's ambitious distribution plans throughout the continent.