Berlin 2013: Participant Launches Spanish-Language Production, Co-Financing Venture

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The company is teaming with a trio of prominent Latin America production firms -- Canana, Fabula and Dynamo -- to form Participant PanAmerica.

BERLIN -- Looking to mine and support the Spanish-language film business, Participant Media has struck a partnership with three leading Latin American production companies to develop and co-finance 10-12 films over the next five years.

The partners are Canana, Fabula and Dynamo. The initiative, dubbed Participant PanAmerica, will be led by Participant's Jonathan King, who is executive vice president of narrative production.

Participant is no stranger to the trio of companies, having recently co-financed Canana's Chavez and Fabula's No, which is nominated for the Academy Award for best foreign langauge film (Canana also distributed No in Mexico). And Participant is currently in talks with Dynamo to finance supernatural thriller Aguas Rojas, which Spain’s Apaches is co-producing.

"Participant PanAmerica enables us to increase our film output and expand our reach into the dynamic and fast-growing Spanish-speaking market. By joining forces with Canana, Fabula and Dynamo, who are among the most accomplished production companies in their respective markets, we now have access to the region’s talent pool of fresh and highly creative filmmakers who are looking to explore important contemporary issues in exciting ways," Participant Media CEO Jim Berk said.

Berk announced the deal alongside Canana partner Pablo Cruz, Canana partner and CEO Julian Levin, Fabula partner Juan de Dios Larrain and Dynamo partner and producer Cristian Conti.

"Outside of the studios, Latin American films rarely have the opportunity to access this kind of equity and U.S. participation," said Cruz. "Having creative partners on board, such as Participant, Fabula and Dynamo, who understand the nature and demands of Latin American cinema is truly invaluable. We could not be happier to start this new relationship with them."

The announcement was made at the Berlin International Film Festival, where Gus Van Sant's Promised Land is making its international debut. Participant co-financed the film.

Among its other recent films, Participant also partnered with DreamWorks on Steven Spielberg's Oscar-nominated Lincoln.