A newBrazil-based finance and development company has launched a $1m fund to supportLatin American projects with international potential.

Life In TheTropics Entertainment (LITE) says the money will nurse 10 scripts and ideasthrough early stages of development.

Fundfounders Roberto d'Avila and Richard Palmgren say film-makers from across theregion will benefit not just from the finance but from the expertise of anexperienced panel of experts.

D'Avilasaid the fund would help break two major problems for South American cinema: abureaucratic subsidy culture and an often-insular focus among local filmindustries.

"We are interested in the internationalmarket. Breaking into the US is obviously difficult for anyone speaking anotherlanguage. Our main market is Europe," he said.

He believesthat South American and Latin American films have consistent themes that have acultural resonance even beyond the shared language markets of Spain andPortugal - but travelling beyond national borders requires a more professionalinfrastructure, he said.

"Many of the screenplays produced in theregion arise from thinly-spread resources and a sacrificial labour of love ofthose involved."

Brazil-bornentrepreneur Palmgren joined the operation to try to provide some of thatprofessional structure.

"What is missing is a system thatworks," he said. "There's plenty of talent but a lot of the time it's justabout executing well."

For LITE,that means creating a workable regional structure.

"Film is totally dependent on governmentsubsidies," said one of LITE's board members Ana Maria Bahiana, herself ascreenwriter.

"If you are not in the position to putin your own money, getting funding can take forever."