BUENOS AIRES – As Chilean cinema closes a very positive year with festival awards (No, Thursday Til Sunday) and booming industry numbers (13% box office increase against 2011), promotion enterprise Cinemachile has launched a new distribution branch in Buenos Aires’ LatAm film market Ventana Sur, which closes today.
While box office numbers for local films spiked this year in Chile with an increase of 237%, most of it was due to one single hit, Stefan vs Kramer, which ranked second behind Ice Age 4 – a record mark for local pics. Still, market share numbers for local LatAm releases are rarely above single digit figures.
Thanks to the coordination between the public and private sectors, as well as the work of Cinemachile promoting these films in fests and markets, there’s now an annual volume of 26 quality films in Chile. “But the thing that was failing in the chain was domestic distribution," says Cinemachile CEO Constanza Arena to The Hollywood Reporter. “So, we assumed the challenge of giving Chilean cinema a chance by standing as a centralized negotiator with exhibitors, so these films get a much more visible position," she adds.
Cinemachile will initially handle ten films annually, tapping into private and public distribution funds. Their confirmed slate includes Thursday Til Sunday (Dominga Sotomayor) Dog Flesh (Fernando Guzzoni), Rutger Hauer starrer The Future (Alicia Scherson) and Sebastian Sepulveda’s Las Niñas Quispe.
“Our difference lies in the fact that ours will be a boutique approach”, explains Arena. “We’re going to find the right audience for each film, using focus groups and other tools that are very rare to find in the local industry.”
According to Arena, multiplexes “needed a venture like ours, which would centralize negotiations and prevent producers to also act as distributors." She adds that exhibition chains (usually reluctant to clear slots for local films) are “very willing to initiate a joint effort that will secure a minimum of three weeks for each film."
“Right now, the future looks very promising," Arena said.