Cinelatino Finds Partner for Telefilms

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Spanish-language movie channel Cinelatino this month is
expected to announce a made-for-TV-movie production partnership with Mexico
City-based Argos.

The deal, terms of which were not disclosed, is already at
work with the shooting this week (July 29) of Amores que matan, a thriller starring Marco Treviño and Elizabeth
Cervantes and directed by Walter Doehner.

The film is being shot in and around Mexico
City and, when completed, is expected to join the
ever-growing list of Spanish-language titles featured on the Cinelatino
channel.

"Our goal is to own every single movie in Spanish that has
been produced, both through acquisitions and original productions," Cinelatino
president Jim McNamara told Hispanic TV
Update
. The made-for-TV movies, which cost from $200,000 to $300,000 to
produce, will also be offered for resale to international broadcasters and
other distributors.

To achieve economies of scale, McNamara said, the partners
will strive to use one crew and equipment to shoot several films in close-by
locations. A second film, also a thriller and also shot in Mexico,
is already in the works, with shooting set for mid-August.

"We realized we didn't have budget for feature films, but we
knew we could do good-looking, well-produced TV movies," he said.

Cinelatino couldn't have picked a more experienced partner. Argos,
one of Mexico's
oldest independent production companies, was behind some of that nation's most
groundbreaking telenovelas, including Mirada
de Mujer
, Nada Personal and Demasiado Corazón, which aired on TV
Azteca. More recently, the company founded by Epigmenio Ibarra, is producing Capadocia, a scripted TV drama produced
for HBO Latin America.

Plans for the Cinelation-Argos partnership are ambitious:
McNamara said he'd like to see the partnership produce from 15 to 20 new films
each year, although he acknowledges that "you have to walk before you run."

In
the meantime, Cinelatino is also expected to announce this week major
acquisition deals with Hollywood studios for films including Universal's Carlito's Way, The Motorcycle Diaries and Kika;
and Fox's Fast Food Nation, Lucia Lucia and Women on Top, among others.

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