Zoe Saldana, Lionsgate Partner for Latino Outreach (Exclusive)
The studio's Pantelion signs Cinestar Productions (and sisters Cisely and Mariel) to a first-look deal to develop content for Hispanic audiences.
This story first appeared in the Sept. 6 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Lionsgate is investing further in the Hispanic market. The studio, via its joint venture Pantelion, has inked Zoe, Mariel and Cisely Saldana's production banner Cinestar Productions (ICM, Morris Yorn) to a first-look deal, which includes a television and film component.
Under the pact, the Star Trek actress and her producer sisters will develop content for Hispanic audiences, and Lionsgate will hire an executive to oversee the company. The move is the latest Lionsgate push to attract the Hispanic population, currently at 50 million and poised to grow four times faster than the rest of the U.S.
The studio formed Pantelion Films, the first major Latino-focused Hollywood studio, with Mexico's Grupo Televisa in 2010, and in January 2012 teamed with Televisa to create English-language TV fare with Latina flair.
Before that partnership, Lionsgate released the features Ladron and La Mujer de Mi Hermano in accordance with CEO Jon Feltheimer's priority to reach the Hispanic demo, which has helped parlay big-screen entries such as The Expendables and The Last Exorcism into its biggest hits.
Says Zoe: "We look forward to a fruitful and productive relationship with Pantelion."