As a preview of the LATC Workshop on February 4 in Miami with FilmGate, Steve Solot offers 10 Practical Tips for Doing Audiovisual Business in Latin America. Here they are:

1) Determine your business model and objective:
Whether you will license audiovisual content to theatrical distributors, Pay-TV channels or streaming services or whether you will partner with existing production houses, or you will create a new local entity (Ltda. SRL, Corporation), it is imperative to have a clear vision of your modus operandi.

2) Speak the language:
You or your representative must speak the local language (Spanish or Portuguese depending on the target territory) or you risk being deceived or making critical mistakes.

3) Check the regulatory landscape:
Become familiar with the film and television and streaming legislation which may include severe restrictions against foreign participation.  However, it may be possible to partner with a local firm to overcome such limitations.

4) Know who’s who in the business:
Check websites for information on film and television producer associations, chambers, unions and government institutes in each country and also regionally.  They provide valuable information on potential partners.

5) Check both sectoral and general tax incidence:
Review existing tax legislation on VAT, services, remittances, per title or per copy contributions which may affect your bottom line and business model.

6) Check film funds and incentives:
Five countries in Latin America currently offer tax credits or cash rebates for eligible production expenses for film, TV and OTT content, as a means to promote economic development and on-location content filming.  Each incentive is different and has a detailed application process.  They may reduce production costs by up to 60%.

7) Prepare an executive summary of your company and objectives in the local language:
You will need a concise, well-written “look-book” about your company’s objectives, experience and principal partners.  It should be in the local language and available in digital format as well as hard copy for hand-outs at markets.

8) Be prepared to discuss contracts:
Have a local lawyer ready to assist with contract negotiations in the local language, options for corporate status, and to discuss each point of a Deal Memo (see IFTA® International Multiple Rights Deal Memo Basic License and Financial Terms).

9) Attend leading markets/festivals:
Register for markets in your target territory (buyer, sales agent, distributor, investor, etc.) and also in other countries where you may meet potential partners.  In Latin America there are 5 principal markets and over 30 relevant smaller markets through the year.

10) Bring something to the table:
To attract immediate attention, you must be prepared to offer something with a positive agenda, such as: highly commercial content for licensing; a solid film project and script with a good-name director and cast attached; a minimum investment such as 30% of the budget; guaranteed distribution in the US and/or Europe.

For further information and additional tips, contact:
Latin American Training Center-LATC: contactlatc@gmail.com

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