Argentina Unveils Details on Second Edition of Latin America's Biggest Film Market

Ventana Sur is expecting 200 sales agents and distribution companies from all over the world.

BUENOS AIRES -- Argentine Film Institute president Liliana Mazure on Wednesday night announced the second edition of Latin America's biggest film market, Ventana Sur, according to a report from Telam.

A joint effort from Cannes Festival's Marche du Film and INCAA (the Argentine Institute for Film and Audiovisual Arts), the event will take place in Buenos Aires from Dec. 3-6, welcoming 200 sales agents and distribution companies from all over the world.

After a successful first edition last year, the region's main film market will feature more than 80 screenings of the latest productions from the region, as well as a video library with more than 400 Latin American films from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and Venezuela. Ventana Sur also will include a special program of 10 local films in postproduction called Primer Corte, as well many other activities and roundtables for film industry guests.

Mazure pointed out that the market expects an important attendance of buyers from all over the world. "We managed to do it in the first edition and we're quite ready for this second one, because our main problem today is the low percentage of our films that get distribution and exhibition deals, and also the fact that we don't get to see the films from our own neighbor countries."

INCAA's president said this shortcoming is a regional issue, and that Ventana Sur aims at positioning that market in the world "because we believe we need regional unity if we want to get out there and capture the screens at a time when movie theaters all over the world are in demand of lots of contents, which we actually have."

The problem, according to her, is that "we don't have enough places (theaters) where we can offer them. So when we go out to markets around the world we have it very difficult, because we have to go after the buyers and compete with other countries that are supported by larger infrastructures; so, we were set out to beat them right from the start."

Mazure also noticed that Argentina, however, is the Latin American country that has always been the one with the best representation at international markets, thanks to the support of the local government, "and that's the result of state policy."

Clearly moved by the circumstances, Mazure requested a big applause to honor the late former President Nestor Kirchner -- husband of current head of state Cristina Fernandez and front-runner in next year's elections who died last Wednesday -- amid a massive attendance of hundreds of thousands of people at his two-day public wake in the Government House. She told press members how in 2004, during the Mar del Plata film festival, Kirchner and Fernandez both had committed to help the local film industry pull through.

"And they certainly did", she said. "The participation figures from Ventana Sur show our industry has been widely supported by the government."

Ventana Sur will also serve as the framework for two other international film industry events: the fourth edition of Expotoons, an international animation festival from Nov. 30-Dec. 2, and the documentary fest Doc Buenos Aires 10/ Latin Side of the Doc, from Nov. 30-Dec. 3.

Expotoons will include an animation market with a pitching forum for projects in late development stages; talks with renowned film industry figures in the animation production and commercialization fields; and the third International Round of Animation Business: one-to-one meetings between possible buyers and sellers. The festival will also hold screenings of the latest productions, conferences with notorious international experts, an exhibition fair to get in touch with new technology, educational activities and an official competition where animators and studios from all over the world can submit their animation films to compete in five categories, to be judged by internationally renowned jurors.

Doc Buenos Aires/Latin Side of the Doc was created in 2009 out of the fusion between Doc Buenos Aires and France's Sunny Side of the Doc, the most important documentary market in the region. Aimed at integrating the Latin American audiovisual market with international documentary film business, DBA/LSD is focused on training and education and features pitching seminars, business meetings and workshops.