Fantastic Fest Opens the Mercado Fantastico

New film market at genre festival aims Spanish, Portuguese spotlight

Fantastic Fest goes into the film-selling business with Fantastic Mercado

For years, Fantastic Fest has been called the geek Telluride. Now it looks like it will become the nerd Cannes, with the announcement that this year sees the launch of Mercado Fantastico, aka Fantastic Market.

A collaboration between Fantastic Fest, Mexican-based production and distribution firm Canana, and Robert Rodriguez’s recently launched El Rey network, the new market is intended to connect genre narrative directors with potential international production, sales and distribution partners. Running parallel to Fantastic Fest 2013, Sept. 19-26, there will be industry screenings, as well as workshops and networking sessions. There will be a particular focus on Hispanic and Portuguese film makers from Latin America, Spain, Portugal and the United States.

Announcing the new initiative, Rodriguez said that "establishing the Fantastic Market is a great opportunity to not only give the Ibero-American community a stage for their work in genre films but it’s also an outlet for the US Hispanic community to showcase their projects in an area where they are underserved."

It's no secret that Portuguese and Spanish-language cinema is a growth area. FF co-founder Tim League said, "Because of our proximity to Mexico and Latin America, we see a large number of emerging projects from these countries at Fantastic Fest." Aside from an early screening of Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth, it's provided a breakout platform for directors Adrián García Bogliano (Cold Sweat, Penumbra, Here Comes the Devil), Nacho Vigalondo (Timecrimes, Extraterrestrial) and Ernesto Diaz-Espinoza (Kiltro, Mandrill, Bring Me the Head of the Machine Gun Woman.) League said, "Fantastic Market is the next step in the evolution of the festival to help us further our mission to support emerging genre filmmakers from across the globe."

The submission period runs June 1 to July 15. Find more details at

Fantastic Fest 2013 runs Sept. 19-26 at Alamo Lakeline. For more info, visit

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