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Pedro Mota Carmo, attending the AFM for the first time since he was named CEO of Portugal’s largest indie distributor and exhibitor NOS Lusomundo in March, arrives with a mandate to grow the business.
He says he will do that by exploiting growing digital opportunities at home and expanding into Portuguese speaking markets in Africa including Angola and Mozambique. (Brazil is a separate territory).
For decades, Lusomundo has handled distribution of movies in Portugal for Disney, Universal, Paramount, MGM and a number of independents; and earlier this year added movies from Warner Bros. to its roster (although it has never been officially announced).
“It’s a small country,” says Carmo, “but our company works very well. My overall plan is to build out and extend relationships with even more distribution companies to make it very successful.”
Lusomundo already is the largest single theatrical movie distributor in Portugal and the largest movie exhibitor with about 214 screens in 30 multiplexes, representing about 60 percent of the market.
Lusomundo is part of a larger publicly traded company called NOS, which was spun off from Portugal Telecom. It also has launched digital channels in recent years and a Netflix-style streaming service, and has premium cable channels.
He has been with the company for twenty years. Before taking his present job, Carmo, who is 48-years-old, was involved in the launch of the pay TV business in Portugal, as well as doing marketing and sales for pay TV and a group of channels they operate.
About seven years ago, he moved into theatrical and home video distribution, and remained involved with the channels. They supply movies for theaters, DVD, VOD, SVOD and various digital platforms.
At AFM, Carmo has been networking and looking for additional independent product to feed all of those distribution platforms, from theatrical to digital.
He works closely with Gordon Steel of The Steel Company, who does his acquisitions, strategic planning and helps with Hollywood studio relationships.
“Portugal is very developed in terms of technology on the pay television side,” says Carmo, “with more than 80 percent penetration [of TV homes]. So it is very challenging.”
Alex Ben Block contributed to this article.
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