Record turnout set for Brazil TV mart

Forum Brasil's GM expects 1,000-plus attendees

MEXICO CITY -- International TV market Forum Brasil is expecting a record turnout for its ninth edition as broadcasting reps from 23 nations descend on Sao Paulo this week.

Keynote speaker Fernando Gaitan, creator and producer of the hit Colombian telenovela "Betty, la Fea" (adapted in the U.S. as "Ugly Betty"), will kick things off Wednesday with a keynote speech at Brazil's largest annual TV market.

The three-day event, which offers pitching, co-production and acquisition opportunities, draws television execs from North America, Latin America, Asia and Europe.

Forum Brasil GM Andre Mermelstein expects more than 1,000 guests, among them programrs from Viacom, HBO, Discovery, Fox, Turner and National Geographic.

"The market is twice the size it was last year," Mermelstein said. "That's because it is a really good moment in Brazil right now with so many new co-production opportunities."

For the first time, the market will present the Discovery Channel/Forum Brasil pitching session, which includes five documentary TV projects that will vie for a $20,000 prize.

Program highlights feature panels on Latin American in the global marketplace, production financing in Brazil and international co-production challenges.