Alicia Scherson’s 1989, Fernando Frías’ Borderless and Pablo Agüero’s Akelarre figure among 16 titles announced for San Sebastian’s 2017 Europe-Latin America Co-Production Forum, its biggest industry event.
Also in the mix: Maite Alberdi’s The Mole Agent, Santiago Loza’s Brief Story of the Green Planet, Sergio Castro San Martin’s The Saddest Goal, Planta Permanente, from Argentina’s Campo Cine, and Rodrigo Sepúlveda’s My Tender Matador, from Chile’s Forastero (The Maid, Aurora), one of five often high- rofile art films from Chile at this year’s Forum.
Set up at Isabel Orellana’s Araucaria Cine (Nunca vas a estar solo), 1989 sees Scherson tackling the world of men for the first time, and “a male obsessed with war games, to boot,” said Scherson. It marks her second Roberto Bolaño adaptation after Il Futuro, here making over The Third Reich.
Sepúlveda, whose Aurora won Chile’s 2014 SANFIC-Santiago Intl. Film Festival, takes on the only novel of Pedro Lemebel, a writer Bolaño admired and a courageous icon of hilean left-wing queer counter-culture under Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship. Starring Alfredo Castro (The Club, So Far Away), My Tender Matador narrates the love story between middle-aged humble barrio queen and a member of the armed resistance to Pinochet.
Directed by Fernando Frias (Calentamiento local, Rezeta), Borderless is set up at Edgar San Juan’s Mexico-City based Film Tank. Written by Hipatia Argüero and San Juan, it is a “reflection on a new generation of first generation Americans, the sons and daughters of Latin Americans, who will hardly identify with the nation their parents had to leave,” said San Juan.
A witchcraft thriller, Akelarre melds a dream combo of factors for a Basque project: an arresting subject, the Inquisition’s trials of confessed Basque witches demo 1609; a prestigious director, Agüero, whose Eva Doesn’t Sleep played San Sebastián competition in 2015; private investment channeled via Sorkin Films, run by Kowalski Films and Lamia Producciones; and now a sales agent, Vicente Canales’ powerful Film Factory Ent.
Also from the Basque Country, Mikel Rueda’s El doble mas quince expands on his short Caminan in as tory of a generation-crossing relationship between a 16-year-old boy and a 45-year-old woman, with Maribel Verdú (Y tu mamá también) attached to play the latter once more.
The Mole Agent marks the third feature from Alberdi, Chile’s foremost young documentary director, which takes place in a world of private investigators and intelligence operatives. “Agent will be a genre blender. The aim is to work within the non-fiction boundaries on elements that habitually belong to fiction — film noirs, cop movies, thrillers,” Alberdi told Variety at IDFA.
Produced by Constanza Sanz Palacios Films and co-produced by Germany’s Autentika Films, Argentine Santiago Loza’s Brief Story of the Green Planet is a low-fi sci-fi movie about two friends, one transexual, the other gay, who discover a baby alien and determine to get it back safely to its parents. “This is about friendship and people going back to their roots, laced with great dialogue, which Santiago oves,” said co-producer Paulo Roberto de Carvalho, at Autentika.
Michel Franco’s Lucia Films announced at Guadalajara that it would co-produce The Saddest Goal set up at Macarena Lopez’s Manufactura de Peliculas (Rara) in Chile, whichlifts the lid on the two-leg qualifying game between Chile (pictured) and the Soviet Union for the 1974 Word Cup. The return match was scheduled to take place in Chile’s National Stadium, a torture center for Augusto Pinochet’s regime.
Produced by powerful Brazil’s film-TV company Glaz via its Auteur Hub, Fábio Baldo’s Sweet Hell Throughout the Galaxy follows a Brazilian farmer who discovers a strange phenomenon coming from outside the earth. It marks Baldo’s follow-up to 2016 Berlinale Panorama player Time Was Endless.
Argentine TV writer Mara Pescio (Las Estrellas) presents Ese fin de semana, a Maravillacine project about a man returning to his town to sign a document that allows his ex-wife to leave the country with his daughter. But father and girl share the same desire for this never to happen.
Colombian director Juan Sebastián Mesa, whose feature debut Los Nadie won the 2016 Venice Film Festival’s Critics Week prize, pitches drama La Roya. Mesa depicts in La Roya how a devastating plague consumes coffee crops in a Colombian town and its subsequent impact on people’s minds.
A psychological drama-thriller, produced by Valencia’s Sin Rodeos Films, Claudia Pinto Emperador’s film Las consecuencias has won development financing from the Latin America, pain and Portugal film fund Ibermedia as well as Valencia’s IVAC Culturarts, among other sources. Pinto Emperador, born in Venezuela, broke through with her feature debut, drama La distancia más arga, which snagged the ReelWomenDirect Award at 2014 Cleveland International Film Festival.
Set up at Buenos Aires-based Volpe Films, and structured as a co- roduction with Chile and Austria, Limbo marks Argentine MateoBendesky’s sophomore feature and a step-up in budgetary terms after debuting in 2013 with low-cost movie In Here, seen at Bafici.
Co-produced by Italy’s Malfé Film and Produzione Spinosa with France’s Wendigo Films, Matteo Tortone’s documentary Mother Lode follows a 21- year-old moto-taxi driver in Lima and his trip, looking for a better future, to the gold mine at Peru’s La Rinconada, the highest town in the world.
Ezequiel Radusky, whose film The Owners, co-directed alongside Agustín Toscano, snagged a Special Mention at Cannes 2013 Critics’ Week, will pitch Planta Permanente, produced by Campo Cine, the Buenos Aires shingle run by Argentine auteur Diego Lerman and producer partner Nicolás Avruj.
As in the Forum’s previous editions, the Ibermedia fund will present one project out of competition: Heidi Hassan and Patricia Pérez’s Whispering” a Spain-Cuba-Switzerland- France co-production, set up at Pontevedra’s Matriuska Producciones, which has already won a €60,000 ($71,400) development award from Galicia’s Xunta government, via the Axencia Galega das Industrias Culturais (Agadic).
JOHN HOPEWELL-EMILIANO DE PABLOS