The second annual Iberoamerican Co-Production Forum came to a close Tuesday (Nov 20) midway through a quiet Iberoamerican Film Festival of Huelva, with both events emphasising the Latin American industry.
The Forum earned positive marks by participants, both for the quality of the projects being pitched and the good turn-out. Organisers said more than 300 professionals had participated, many of whom were walk-ins from the parallel festival event, and more than 400 meetings were held. Some 15 projects were said to have closed deals during the three-day event.
Activities boiled down mostly to Latin American producers pitching for Spanish financing. "Having a European co-producer offers a Latin American film opportunities," said Brazilian producer Nelson Duarte of Destiny International, highlighting access to funding sources and greater distribution potential.
Colombian producer-director Antonio Dorado agreed, but added: "The challenge is that we want to create films that reflect our own culture, and from the moment a project takes on an international partner the story, characters, etc have to be adapted."
Spanish producers said they were very interested in tapping into Latin America's broad talent base, but not without ensuring that financing could be recouped at home. "I wouldn't sign on to a Latin American co-production if I didn't have a TV sale secured," said one.
A handful of the 44 projects officially presented at the Forum which stood out or were rumoured to have closed financing deals included: Cuban ICAIC project Bailando El Cha Cha Cha; Mexican film Sofia De Los Presagios from director-actress Laura Mana, in development at Ivania Films; Katarsis Comunicacion Y Media's $8m Alta California, from Mexico; and Dorado's Colombian narcotics-trafficking tale El Rey, backed by Universidad del Valle Television .
Four days into the Huelva festival, an event considered to have greater repercussion in Latin America than Spain, no clear favourites had emerged among the 12 competition titles. In sync with the Forum, all but one of the competition titles come from Latin America while four were co-productions with Spain.