Saturday, 16 October 2010

Valdivia: the end

In a few hours I depart on my 28 hour journey back to the UK. The Cine Sin Fronteras sessions concluded yesterday after we all presented our projects and received feedback and help from the professionals and other trainees. In the end I didn't manage to see any films, as our schedule and the amount of networking events to attend took over.

One of the most interesting aspects of this training was meeting film producers and distributors from Latin America and learning how they do their job. For example, Fiorella Moretti from Mantarraya Films (they produce and distribute films in Mexico) who works with acclaimed Cannes-winning Mexican filmmaker Carlos Reygadas (BATTLE IN HEAVEN, SILENT LIGHT) and who also releases arthouse films in Mexico like UNCLE BOONMEE. I also met Uruguayan producer Fernando Epstein, who produced WHISKY and GIGANTE (winner in Berlin this year). Florencia Schapiro from Lat-E, a sales agent and distributor, looks after the Argentinian arthouse market - check her blog out here.

The challenges they face are huge compared to the issues we face in Western Europe, in what is called 'mature markets': lack of audiences, lack of cinemas, lack of incentives, lack of cash, lack of any coherent cultural policy....these are all problems affecting Europeans, but on a very different scale.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Venezuela seems like an exciting place because of the new laws that have been adopted recently which create incentives (very much in the model of Europa Cinemas) for cinemas to show national, Latin American and European cinema. There is also extensive funding for Venezuelan cinema, and hopefully we'll see the effects of these measures reaching our shores soon.

So thanks to our very lovely hosts in Valdivia who have been sweet from day one, and I shall definitely be returning as soon as I can...

I am heading back to Brighton with a ton of ideas and contacts for the CINE ESTELI project but also keen to get back to work at the Dukes, and catch up with all my favorite customers. See you there!

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