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‘Cronicas’ wins at Guadalajara fest

Pic edges out 'Whisky'

GUADALAJARA — The Guadalajara Film Festival wrapped Friday with a picture victory for Sebastian Cordero’s “Cronicas.”

Ecuadorian pic, which also won screenplay and actor laurels, raised eyebrows with the win, not only because it was passed over for audience choice and press prizes, but also due to the strength of the field, which included films that had beaten “Cronicas” in head-to-head competition.

Speculation was fueled by the fact that pic’s producer, millionaire Jorge Vergara, is one of the fest’s backers.

In bringing home the $50,000 prize for Ibero-American picture, “Cronicas” edged out audience prize winner “Whisky,” an Uruguayan film that has won well over a dozen prizes on the fest circuit.

In what was considered a weak local crop, Jaime Aparicio’s “El mago” took the $20,000 prize for Mexican pic, as well as Mexican actor and actress laurels.

A host of other prizes were handed out at the fest, but perhaps most interesting was the $50,000 JVC prize. It is for a first work and dangles the option of another $50,000 to the winner upon completion of a screenplay to be developed by Vergara’s Anhelo shingle.

This year’s award was split between Argentine Sergio Morkin for “Oscar” and Mexican Antonino Isorda for “1973.”

Vergara said the two helmers would split the prize money; he added that last year’s winner, Fernando Eimbcke, has yet to deliver a screenplay.

Fest’s jury, in contrast, chose Vera Fogwill and Martin Desalvo’s “Kept and Dreamless” for its own first work prize.

Distrib Videocine selected Victor Gaviria’s “Sumas y restas” for guaranteed theatrical release in Mexico and possible distribution in the U.S.

Videocine head Eckehardt von Damm said the Colombian pic was chosen because it had the best commercial possibilities, “which aren’t necessarily the same as a jury’s criteria.”

Weeklong fest attracted 75,000 spectators, organizers said.

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