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65th San Sebastian Film Festival
22/30 September 2017 - #65ssiff

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You are in: Home > 2018. 66th Edition  > Festival Diary > Films in Progress Picks ‘Los fuertes’, ‘The Prince’, ‘Sirena’
Films in Progress Picks ‘Los fuertes’, ‘The Prince’, ‘Sirena’
Monday, September 24th, 2018

Omar Zuñiga’s Los fuertes, Sebastián Muñoz’s The Prince and Carlos Piñeiro’s Sirena have been selected for the34th, twiceyearly, Films in Progress, a Latin American pix-in-post competition which runs Sept.24-26 at Spain’s San Sebastián Festival.

Strong on co-productions – a reflection of the bilateral and minority coproduction funds now in place in Brazil, Argentina and Chile– this year’s selection packs five first features, a reminder of the hordes of filmmakers pouring out of film schools in Latin America, powering up production levels dramatically.

Some of the first-time filmmakers are, however, already well known. Zuñiga cofounded Santiago de Chilebased Cinestación in 2008 with director Dominga Sotomayor (Thursday Till Sunday, Too Late to Die Young) and Catalina Marin won a best short Teddy Award at the 2015 Berlin Festival for San Cristobal.

Inspired by San Cristóbal, and set in Southern Chile, Los Fuertes de-picts a love story between a middleclass man who’s just about to move abroad and a struggling young fisherman. “Their relationship forces them to confront their own realities and break their loneliness, learning to trust the people they can finally feel close to,” Zuñiga said.

Seen at Sanfic’s Latin American Works in Progress, the mysticaltoned Sirena, from Bolivia’s Carlos Piñeiro, also straddles tradition and modernity, beginning with an engineer from La Paz drowning in Lake Titicaca. When those close to him part of modernday Chile set off to reclaim the man’s body, they find the Amayra people who recovered it unwilling to let it go.

Chilean Sebastián Muñoz’s The Princeis a homoerotic tale set in the ‘70s which focuses on Jaime, a twentyyearold narcissist who ends up in jail after he stabs his best friend in a passionate outburst. There, via his relationship with El Potro, he becomes “The Prince,” learns about prisonblock power struggles.

The Princeportrays the society of the ‘70s through a history of violence, love and sex among prisoners,” Muñoz told “Variety”.

Like Los Fuertes and The Prince, Films’ in Progress’ two Uruguayan titles and Argentina’s Ni héroe ni traidoralso plumb issues of iden tity, empathy and allegiance in an alienating and fastchanging world.

An absurdist adventurefriendship tale, Mateina, a Uruguay, BrazilArgentina coproduction directed by Joaquín Peñagaricano and Pablo Abdala, is set in a 2045 Uruguay which is much the same as now, save that yerba mate consumption is banned. Two friends, mate dealers, set off to Paraguay on the trail of pure yerba.

Directed by Lucia Garibaldi, The Sharkscenters on a young girl, Rosina, at small seaside resort threatened –or rumors have it– by the arrival of sharks offshore. Rosina welcomes the new arrivals, does everything she shouldn’t “as if driven by animal instinct,” the festival synopsis reads. The Sharks “talks about what’s hidden beneath the surface, about hot blood, the sea and the irremediable search for empathy,” it adds.

In Neither Hero nor Traitor, Argentine Matías confronts his conflicting feelings when being called up to fight in the Falklands War. The cause may be just; but he doesn’t feel this to be his war, nor sincere.

JOHN HOPEWELL

 
Familia sumergida.
Familia sumergida.

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