Film fest line-up shapes up

Kim Ki-duk’s minimalist love tale “The Bow,” Werner Herzog’s deep-space mockumentary “The Wild Blue Yonder” and Stuart Gordon’s David Mamet adaptation “Edmond” will compete at the 21st Mar del Plata Intl. Film Festival, which will also launch a new Latin America Co-production Forum.

Running March 9-19, the Argentine sprocket opera is Latin America’s only A-grade fest, per FIAPF classification.

Competish titles confirmed by fest prexy Miguel Pereira at Berlin also include the Poland-set drama “Molly’s Way” from Germany’s Emily Atef, Canadian Claude Gagnon’s portrait of a young man’s emotional maturing “Kamataki” and Marcelo Gomes Brazilian outback buddy movie “Movies, Asprins and Vultures.”

Appointed fest prexy in 2002, film director Pereira (a Berlinale Silver Bear winner in 1988 with “The Debt,” who has recently wrapped “El destinino”) has steered Mar del Plata towards hipper, offbeat titles from auteurs who appeal to Argentina’s young, fervently film-loving public. “Every Argentinian is a film buff,” he said.

Competish is packed with strong first features, such as Australian Sarah Watt’s ironic tale of multiple mischance, “Look Both Way,” Portuguese Marco Martins’ grief-laden “Alice” and Mexican Ricardo Benet’s Tribeca hit, “News From Afar.”

Further titles are Kambuzia Partovi’s Iranian diner-set “Border Cafe,” Eric Shoo’s “Be With Me,” a true-life portrait of death-and-blind Theresa Chan, Argentinian Marcelo Pinyero’s job interview expose “The Gronholm Method” and “Lost and Found,” an Eastern European portmanteau pic.

Fest’s new Co-production Forum aims to foster multilateral pic productions in Latin America, a growing market trend, Pereira said. Fest will invite producer-distributors from Europe, who co-finance Latam pics. The 21st edition’s novelties also include a toon pic showcase, Animated Visions, a new Latin American Documentaries sidebar, and an African Film Focus.

Michael Winterbottom, Juliette Binoche, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins are among expected fest guests.

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