MGM and business associates Salma Hayek and Jose Tamez have set up Ventanazul to develop, produce and acquire Latin-themed filmed entertainment featuring Latin and non-Latin film-makers and stars.

Hayek will serve as president and chief executive officer and Tamez as president of production in the equal partnership with MGM.

The company plans to deliver two to four diverse features each year, with MGM handling worldwide marketing and distribution. Ventanazul will be based at MGM's Century City headquarters in Los Angeles.

'My conversations with Rick Sands [MGM chief operating officer] and the MGM team have been tremendously exciting,' said Hayek, who is an executive producer on the hit TV show Ugly Betty. 'We have been developing for months a plan to create an identity for the company that specialises in the Latino market without isolating the rest of the audience.

'I'm confident to say that with the help and support of MGM, Ventanazul has a specific vision that sets it apart from some of the stereotypical efforts made in the past.

'What's important to us is integrating, not separating. This deal represents an amazing opportunity to draw upon the entire range of ways the Latin world can contribute to the film industry.

'Each project has a different element: from supporting our incredible talent behind the camera, to telling uniquely Latin stories like that of Frida Kahlo, to creating unforgettable characters - who just happen to be Latin - like Ugly Betty. We want these movies to appeal to everyone, but we also hope to make Latino audiences proud.'

'After working with Salma on several pictures over the years, it quickly became apparent to me that she is the right person to form this groundbreaking venture which will identify, develop and produce films that fall under Ventanazul's mission,' Sands said. 'Not only is Salma a great actress, but as a producer and director she brings a deep and accessible understanding of the multi-cultural world we live in today. We are pleased have this historic partnership with her and her team.'

MGM's executive vice president of business affairs Jonathan Bader and Bill Sobel negotiated the deal with CAA and Management 360.