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Tammy Piaskowski • Distributor

Short careers for movies in Argentina

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Tammy Piaskowski  • Distributor

Argentineans have a good relationship with their films, and the country’s industry is one of the best-known Latin American industries abroad, but distribution of domestic films at home is not so good. According to Cine Sin Fronteras participant Tammy Piaskowski, general manager of her distribution company, Notro Films, the Argentinean film market is overly saturated.

“Many films are launched every week, especially in peak seasons, which means many of them cannot have a long theatrical career and recoup distribution costs”, said Piaskowski. She believes this is why Argentinean in particular and Latin American and European films in general are not widely distributed in the country and, if they are, why their box office is generally low.

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Although Hollywood titles generally make up 70-80% of the local film fare, Piaskowski says Argentina is culturally very interested in European cinema, which could lead distributors to an important market yet to be explored. “European films are released every week, getting around 30-70,000 admissions while in cinemas. There are some exceptions, like Death at a Funeral [+see also:
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, which got 560,000, which make me think good movies can go further if they get a proper promotional campaign”, she says.

On the other hand, the entrance of Argentinean films in Europe is mostly limited to festivals. Nevertheless, according to Piaskowski, some markets are more receptive to Argentinean cinema, like Spain. “In recent years, some domestic titles were released in Spain to great success, such as Tiempo de Valientes, with almost 200,000 viewers, and Nos Sos Vos, Soy Yo, with 470,000”, she explained.

Digital cinema, one of the subjects discussed by Piaskowski and the other Cine Sin Fronteras participants in the first meeting that took place in Mexico City, could be an important solution for solving distribution problems in Argentina. “However, we’ll have a tough period while theatres go through the adaptation period”, she said, also pointing out the importance of associations to find common solutions for problems that concern European and Latin American film markets.

Figures
* In 2007, 294 films were distributed in Argentina, of which 102 were domestic, 35 were European and six were from other Latin American countries.
* In 2008, 33m admissions were sold in Argentina (whose population is over 40m), 11.88% of which were for local titles.

Source: Nielsen EDI

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