Lat Am’s Story A & Screen Capital open to European partners for $20m investment fund

Latin American finance firm Story A is open to partnering with European companies as it looks to spend a $20m audiovisual investment pot, according to CEO Angel Zambrano.

Talking to TBI here at Content Americas, Zambrano said Story A would consider approaches from firms around the world, adding that scripted projects of eight to ten episodes, as well as longer running melodramas, are of interest.

Story A aims to get shows ff the ground quicker by using funds from Chilean investment firm Screen Capital’s Screen I fund, which is targeting TV series and movies.

Zambrano added that there was “no pre-set quota or amount” that could be invested, adding that projects did not need to already have a commissioner attached to be considered.

“The process of finding out whether a project goes to a streamer or a broadcaster can be figured out – we are absolutely open to exploring how we can put the puzzle together,” he told TBI.

“That is what we do – we get the idea and then figure out where we can help and accelerate the project, then build the possibilities in terms of where we could sell the project in our region.

“And you don’t need a commission, we can help look for that – it is part of the interaction with the market. We know what our clients are looking for and [once onboard] we can then try to secure the investment from the platforms.”

Private equity and venture capital funding of TV shows and production companies has become increasingly common in Europe and the US over recent years, but remains in its infancy in Lat Am. While no TV series have yet emerged from Screen Capital’s Screen I fund, six are going through the process of due diligence.

Chilean firm Fabula is also working on projects with the investment firm, while the first movie funded via Screen I – Maquillame Otra Vez – is set to debut later this year in Mexico.

During a panel session here at Content Americas in Miami, Screen Capital’s MD Edgar Spielmann – the former COO of Fox Networks Group in Latin America – said there was considerable flexibility in terms of the projects that could be backed by the state-supported fund.

“There has to be a Chilean component, but that can be many things and means the spectrum of operation for this fund is fairly wide,” he explained.

“We need fiction but it doesn’t have to be from Chile – we have been investing in projects in Mexico for example with a Chilean producer. We just need someone, somewhere in the value chain to be from Chile.”

During the same panel, Francisco Cordero, founder & CEO of fellow Lat Am investment firm BTF Media, said his company was looking to ramp up its investments, with a focus on shows for the Hispanic market.

BTF has two funds, one totalling $5m and a second that holds $25m, with around 35% of that amount so far invested into projects. The biggest soend to date, he said, was a film that had received $3m.

“Our objective is to be seen as a one-stop shop where we can offer all different types of services – we want to become a venture capital builder with producers, so the industry can grow in all senses of the word.”

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