Chile shines at event

Berlin platform for Spanish language talent

BERLIN — The breadth of Argentinian filmmaking and new Chilean talent were both on show Sunday at the Berlinale’s New Works in Progress from Latin America event.

One-hour showcase screened excerpts from unfinished works seeking post-prod or promotion finance.

From the extracts on show, “Regresados” (Graduated) looked like a well-played character-driven dramedy about a highschool reunion. It’s from directorial duo Flavio Nardini and Criristian Bernard.

A showcase standout, the micro-budgeted ensembler “UPA, Argentinean Movie” mixes “Dogma” inspired hand-held camerawork and irony, parading the horrors of Argentine indie micro-budget film-making.

Three of the showcase’s 10 pics featured Chilean directors — a sign of the country’s consolidation as a new Latin American talent hub.

“The showcase had a total 100 submissions, and more from Chile than anywhere else, save Argentina,” said Pablo Udenio, who organized the Works in Progress with Hernan Guerschuny from the EFM and with Argentina’s INCAA.

From its trailer, “Perdido” suggests that director Alberto Fuguet is a talent to track. Part-set in the Atacama desert, trailer displayed striking visuals plus political overtones.

Alejandro Burgues’ Barcelona-set “Personal Belongings” dissects the sexual dynamics of a love triangle. Extracts looked quite graphic.

The showcase, which repeats Tuesday, signed off with a sneak peek at Chilean Nicolas Lopez’s super-hero spoof “Santos.” Pic already has blog buzz in Latin America.

The gross out fantasy has Lopez’s hallmark bathos — the superman hero as a whimp — and costs a sizeable, for Latin America, budget of $6.5 million budget.

Pundits are asking who could be Latin America’s next Guillermo del Toro: Some money’s already on Lopez.

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