Participant Media has entered into a multi-year agreement to develop and co-finance Spanish-language films with three of the premiere Latin American production companies, Mexico’s Canana (Sin Nombre, Miss Bala), Chile’s Fabula (Young and Wild, Gloria) and Colombia’s Dynamo (Undertow, The Hidden Face), it was announced today by Participant CEO Jim Berk and Canana Partner Pablo Cruz and Canana Partner and CEO Julian Levin; Fabula Partner Juan de Dios Larrain and Dynamo Partner and Producer Cristian Conti. The parties expect that 10-12 films will be produced during the five year term of the deal. The initiative will be led by Jonathan King, Executive Vice President of Narrative Production for Participant Media.
Participant recently co-financed Canana’s Chavez and Fabula’s No, the Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language film which Canana distributed in Mexico, and is in discussions with Dynamo to finance the supernatural thriller Aguas Rojas, which Spain’s Apaches is co-producing.
Berk said, "Participant PanAmerica enables us to increase our film output and expand our reach into the dynamic and fast growing Spanish-speaking market. By joining forces with Canana, Fabula and Dynamo, who are among the most accomplished production companies in their respective markets, we now have access to the region’s talent pool of fresh and highly creative filmmakers who are looking to explore important contemporary issues in exciting ways."
Cruz said, "Knowing our partners well and the mutual respect we have for each other make this opportunity unique for the Latin American production landscape, we are very proud and honored to be working with very good friends and incredible partners." Levin added, "Outside of the studios Latin American films rarely have the opportunity to access this kind of equity and U.S. participation. Having creative partners on board, such as Participant, Fabula and Dynamo, who understand the nature and demands of Latin American cinema is truly invaluable. We could not be happier to start this new relationship with them."
Larrain said, “To work with professionals that one admires and respects, such as Canana, Dynamo, and Participant Media, is an true honor for us. The voice of Latin America is growing stronger and stronger in the world of film. Through this association, our aspiration is to go even further, and these are the best traveling companions that we could have ever hoped for.”
Conti said, “For Dynamo this alliance presents a superb framework to create, improve and bring to life our projects. We look forward to growing with and learning from great partners and friends like Canana, Fabula and Participant.” Added Dynamo partner Andres Calderon, “We feel that this is the start of a powerful alliance that could spell the start of a Latam studio-like framework."
About Participant Media
Participant Media is an entertainment company that focuses on documentary and non-documentary feature films, television, publishing and digital content about the real issues that shape our lives. For each of its projects, Participant creates social action and advocacy programs to transform the impact of the media experience into individual and community action. Participant’s online Social Action Network is TakePart. Founded by Jeff Skoll in 2004, Jim Berk serves as CEO. Participant's films include The Kite Runner, Charlie Wilson's War, An Inconvenient Truth, Good Night, and Good Luck, The Visitor, Food, Inc., The Cove, The Crazies, Countdown to Zero, Waiting for "Superman,” Fair Game, PAGE ONE: Inside The New York Times, The Help, Contagion, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Lincoln, Promised Land and No.
Canana was founded in 2005 by Diego Luna, Gael Garcia Bernal, Pablo Cruz, and most recently joined by partner and CEO Julian Levin. Over the past 7 years, Canana has produced over twenty films including Abel, Luna’s first feature length film, Sin Nombre, Miss Bala, directed by Gerardo Naranjo, and most recently, the English language film Chavez, directed by Luna.
In 2009, the company launched Canana OnDemand, a digital distribution arm working with nine digital platforms in Latin America. Ambulante, Canana’s traveling documentary film festival in Mexico has brought over 300 documentaries to communities across the country over the last seven years and received more than 100,000 admissions in its latest edition. Canana recently joined forces with Hollywood film financing and sales company IM Global to found Mundial, a worldwide sales company focusing exclusively on Latin and Ibero-American cinema. Mundial provides a full service international distribution platform for Latin American filmmakers, handling sales on 8-10 pictures from across the region per year.
Founded in 2004 by Pablo Larraín and Juan de Dios Larraín, Fabula is a production company based in Chile specializing in the development of film, television, advertising and production services.
Recent and upcoming projects include Pablo Larraín’s No, which won the top Art Cinema Award after its Cannes’ Director's Fortnight premiere, and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Film; Sebastian Silva’s Crystal Fairy, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival; and the second season of HBO’s Prófugos, airing September 2013. In addition, the Fabula-produced Gloria from director Sebastián Lelio will screen in official competition at Berlinale.
Fabula previously produced Roberto Artiagoitía’s Paseo de Oficina; Marialy Rivas’ directorial debut, Joven & Alocada, which was awarded the Best Screenplay at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival; Sebastián Lelio’s El Año del Tigre (Official Competition at Locarno International Film Festival); Pablo Larraín’s Post Mortem (Official Competition at the Venice Film Festival); Oscar Godoy's Ulises; Roberto Artiagoitía’s (Radio Corazón) Grado 3; Pablo Larraín’s Tony Manero, which premiered at the Director's Fortnight at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival; Sebastian Silva’s directorial debut, La Vida Me Mata; and Pablo Larraín’s Fuga.
Dynamo was originally founded in 2006 and has since become the leading film production company in Colombia. Dynamo has produced some prominent world cinema titles, such as Sundance winner Undertow by Javier Fuentes-Leon, Sebastian Cordero's Rabia and Andi Baiz's Satanas, and box office hits such as La Cara Oculta. In 2007 Dynamo raised the first pension fund backed PE film investment fund in Latin America which has made over 15 equity and debt investments all across the region since its inception. Today Dynamo also manages the RIFF fund, which represents a few select HNW in the film space.
In recent years Dynamo has expanded its activity into the TV development and service production, post production facilities, new media and online community spaces. Dynamo also has a permanent presence in Spain where it has offices in Barcelona. Its latest projects include Andi Baiz's Roa opening in April 2013 and Carlos Moreno's Que Viva La Musica! with production starting in 2013.