1877, May 24 – BIRTH OF ANGEL MENTASTI

Film Producer (Gemini) – Angel Mentasti’s dynamism, courage and business acumen would be a major reason for the eventual diffusion of tango…his film “Tango” which premiered in 1933 was not only successful but would create the model for popular films which were seen all over the world…film making from the beginning was a roll of the dice; expensive to produced and dependent on the tastes of a fickle public…for his first film venture, he came up with an innovative idea; a three film project which would pool costs, minimize risks, attract investors, and appeal to distributors…part of the strategy was to market the first film only at the point of production of the second and create a trilogy expectation…Angel Mentasti was born in Varese, Italy to poor farmer parents…newly married and with limited possibilities he embarked on the courageous course of moving to Argentina…he worked in many odd jobs but with a natural entrepreneurial bent of mind…

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While working at Cosmos Films as distribution manager, he met Luis Moglia Barth who was a translator of sub titles and editor as well as a publicity agent…when Mentasti hit upon the idea of a new film production company he invited  Luis Moglia Barth to join him…he convinced the most popular entertainers of his day to appear including Libertad Lamarque, Osvaldo Fresedo, Juan D’arienzo, Pedro Maffia, Juan De Dios Filiberto….the second film “Dancing” in which Tito Luisardo debuted was a commercial failure and his investors disappeared…to complete the third film “Riachuelo”, Mentasti had to scramble and he had to liquidate his own assets…”Riachuelo” was a great success; it cost 80,000 pesos to produce and in the first year alone grossed one million pesos…at the height of his success, Angel Mentasti suddenly contracted diphtheria with which he courageously battled for many months but it was a fight that he eventually lost and he passed away at the age of sixty…he was remembered by colleagues and friends as an energetic, dynamic and generous man

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