Amazon Studios has changed its name to Amazon MGM Studios, announced Pablo Iacoviello, director of monetization for local originals at the studio since April.
During his keynote address to a packed audience at the TV forum Iberseries & Platino Industria, which kicked off Oct. 3 in Madrid, Iacoviello broke the announcement as he held forth on how the studio continues to explore new local production opportunities and distribution strategies.
The name change is a natural progression from the news in May when the platform giant launched Amazon MGM Studios Distribution, a worldwide international film and TV distribution unit that sells Amazon originals and MGM’s deep vault of titles.
Most of the major U.S. studios have been resorting to mixed models of streaming and licensing in recent months as they seek to ensure the viability of content economics.
Iacoviello pointed out that Oscar-nominated “Argentina, 1985” was the first film they released across hundreds of screens in Latin America in the lead-up to its Oscar campaign. Other titles released in Latin American cinemas since have been “Blondie” and “Double Discurso,” he said, as well as drama “Silent Service” in Japan. “We’re in a period of experimentation and learning,” he noted.
He did not rule out big budget Latin American productions in the future, in the vein of “The Head of Joaquín Murrieta,” produced by the studio with Colombia’s Dynamo. The company’s last attempt to make an ambitious Latin American series, “Cortes y Moctezuma,” starring Javier Bardem and Tenoch Huerta, was shut down as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to spread in 2020 and was also marred by the sexual misconduct allegations against its co-director Ciro Guerra.
“I think we are doing a little bit of everything, and we have not run out of potential big productions in Latin America,” said Iacoviello, adding: “I believe there is an opportunity to make large projects in the region more efficiently while holding them up to the same standards of quality.”
He also did not rule out the use of product placement in their shows, “as long as they’re done organically,” he stressed.
Iberseries & Platino Industria runs Oct. 3-6 in Madrid.