More than 500 films on offer; 1,844 industry professionals to attend the Buenos Aires-based market.

This year’s fourth edition of the Ventana Sur market in Buenos Aires (which runs from Nov 30 through Dec 3), introduces some new initiatives in order to increase even more the participation of Latin American films in the local and internacional market.

“We are launching this year the Producers Network at Ventana Sur, a series of lunches to connect producers from Latin America with international sales agents,” said Ventana Sur head Jerome Paillard [pictured]. “This is an extension of the successful Cannes programme, which will celebrate its tenth anniversary next May.”

Paillard, who also is the executive director of the Cannes Market, noted that the Latin American presence in Cannes has grown by 50% since 2009, when Marché du Film/Festival de Cannes and INCAA (Instituto Nacional de Cine y Artes Audiovisuales) launched Ventana Sur.

Ventana Sur will take place at UCA (Puerto Madero), screening more than 100 Latin American films at the Cinemark. In addition to that, the Digital Library will offer about 400 films, to be seen at 40 screening booths. More than 1,000 industry professionals will participate this year, including approximmately 300 buyers from all over the world and Latin America.

New for this 2012 edition, producers will also be under the spotlight with another initiative launched by Ventana Sur, San Sebastian Film Festival and Marché du Film. “European projects from the San Sebastian Coproduction Forum will participate in Ventana Sur and in the next Producers Network in Cannes, offering them the best opportunities around the world,” added Paillard.

Unlike other markets, Ventana Sur was created because there was no other event totally dedicated to films in the region. In Europe, a lot of countries have their own windows to promote their films, such as the Unifrance RendezVous, in France, and the Madrid Screenings in Spain. US independent films have their platform at Sundance, while Asian movies have Hong Kong and Pusan. ​

Before Ventana Sur, Latin American films had to share the attention of buyers and programmers with productions from other regions in international film festivals. “Now, with support of Media International, we have created an event which is on the annual radar of every seller or buyer dealing with Latin American films,” said Paillard.

In terms of deals closed or started in Buenos Aires per year, Paillard said it was still too soon to assess how much money Ventana Sur generates.

“We know the market generates both business and visibility. Business with many pick-ups, distribution deals and TV, VoD and video acquisitions. Visibility with a lot of films selected in the main festivals, including Cannes, and many awards, including the Caméra d’Or. In addition Ventana Sur proved to be instrumental for the connection of European producers with directors from the region.”

After Ventana Sur, Paillard said catch-up screenings of the films would be available on Cannes Market online platform Cinando in order to give them “extra visibility and a wider opportunity of business.”

Ventana was the first step of the Marché du Film outside France and now other regions will also benefit from the initiative. “We partnered with the Cinema Fund of Russia for the organisation of the Red Square Screenings, a kind of Russian Ventana Sur, which opened last October in Moscow,” said Paillard.

And what are the main challenges ahead for Ventana Sur? “Stay focused on what Ventana Sur has been created for: exporting films and talents from the region. And keep its perfect combination of business and networking in a friendly atmosphere.”