FilmSharks opens Asian and U.S. branches

Buenos Aires-based sales agency expands worldwide

BUENOS AIRES – Latin American sales agent FilmSharks has opened a U.S. branch in West Hollywood with the purpose of including high-profile American films in their business. The company, in a worldwide expansion move where it also acquired European art-house productions and Latin American box-office hits, is also opening new Korean and Japanese branches to get better pick ups and sales in top Asian territories.

According to company CEO Guido Rud, FilmSharks plans to release "10 to 12 films per year, out of which 4 or 5 will be American productions." The company is already involved with US films like Jonathan Parker's "(Untitled)," starring Adam Goldberg and recently released by Samuel Goldwyn Films; Brighlight Pictures' "American Venus," released in the U.S. by IFC Films; and Venice Jury Prize Winner "The Speed of Life."

FilmSharks made news recently when it acquired the back catalogs of two big names in Latin American film production: Disney-backed Patagonik in Argentina, and CIE Group's Alta Vista in Mexico. Their latest pick up, the Argentinian film "Just Like Me" by Diego Kaplan, is Patagonik's new local hit, having sold over 600,000 tickets in four weeks. The film is distributed in Latin America by Buena Vista and is expected to reach a million spectators, which would place it among the top films of the year at the local box-office. Rud believes "the film could be easily sold in the U.S. and major European and Asian markets," as the producer's previous film, Juan Taratuto's "A Boyfriend for My Wife," has been sold in over 35 countries, and remake rights have been purchased by Warner Bros U.S., who attached Steve Carell to the project.

European art-house production company Eddie Saeta, which co-produced the latest Cannes winner "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives" by Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul, has also passed along its entire back catalog to FilmSharks, including all international rights for the company's latest film, "Jose Maria de Orbe's Aita," which will premiere in the San Sebastian Film Festival's main competitive section.