As local-language movies take on increasing importance for U.S. firms, Participant PanAmerica expects to develop and co-finance 10-12 Spanish-language films a year under a deal with Mexico’s Canana, Chile’s Fabula and Colombia’s Dynamo. The five-year agreement follows Participant Media‘s recent co-financing of Canana’s Chavez and Fabula’s No, an Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language film. The company is also in talks with Dynamo to finance supernatural thriller Aguas Rojas, which Spain’s Apaches is co-producing. Participant CEO Jim Berk said the deal will enable the company to expand its reach into the fast growing Spanish-speaking market and give it access to a talent pool of “fresh and highly creative filmmakers who are looking to explore important contemporary issues in exciting ways.” The initiative will be led by Jonathan King, EVP of narrative production for Participant. Canana, founded in 2005 by Diego Luna, Gael Garcia Bernal and Pablo Cruz, and recently joined by partner and CEO Julian Levin, has credits that include Sin Nombre and Miss Bala. No director Pablo Larraín and Juan de Dios Larraín’s Fabula recently produced Crystal Fairy which just premiered at Sundance and has Gloria from director Sebastián Lelio in competition here in Berlin. Dynamo produced 2010 Sundance Audience Award winner Undertow and Sebastian Cordero’s Rabia among others.
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