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Debutantes shine at Latin fest

Six first-timers feature in Ibero-American Festival

BARCELONA — Underscoring the generational renewal sweeping Latin American filmmaking, six of the 12 competish pics at the 33rd Ibero-American Film Festival are directorial debuts.

First time features include French-Argentinian helmer Santiago Otheguy’s “La Leon,” a gay-themed tale about loneliness and longing, which played to an upbeat reception at Berlin, and Brazilian Philippe Barcinski’s “Not By Chance,” produced by Fernando Meirelles’ 02 Filmes. Pic turns on an accident that throws together two men and two women, all strangers.

Shai Agosin’s Chilean dramedy “The Toast” has a young photographer falling in love with her father’s rabbi, while Andres Baiz’s “Satanas,” Colombia’s Oscar entry, is a three-storyline study of brooding violence. Both helmers are debutantes.

Rounding up the first-time pics are two two-handers: Mariem Perez Riera and Carlitos Ruiz Ruiz’s love pangs drama “Lovesickness,” which is exec produced by Benicio Del Toro, and another 02 Filmes production, Enrique Fernandez and Cesar Charlone’s Uruguayan Oscar candidate, “The Pope’s Toilet.” Pic won the Horizontes Award at September’s San Sebastian Fest.

Among films from more established helmers are HIV love drama “El resultado del amor,” from vet Argentine writer-director Eliseo Subiela, and Cao Hamburger’s 1970-set abandoned boy drama, “The Year My Parents Went on Vacation,” Brazil’s contender for the Academy Award.

Chilean-Peruvian “Fiestapatria,” directed by Luis R. Vera (“Miss Amerigua”) is a Dogma-inspired family reunion tale with allegorical overtones.

Huelva will also screen Carlos Reygadas Cannes competition player “Silent Light,” and “Wolves,” helmed by Jose Nascimento (“Reporter X”), an escape-crime-love story.

Competish is rounded up by “Postcards From Leningrad” from Mariana Rondon (“A Midnight and a Half”), Venezuela’s Oscars submission, a ‘60s-set tale in which two children imagine their guerrilla parents’ adventures.

The 33rd fest will also host the 8th Co-production Forum, running Nov. 22-24 and aimed at forging co-production accords between Spanish and Latin American producers.

Fest sidebars include a tribute to Spanish thesp Maribel Verdu and a pic selection made by former TV exec and ICAA Spanish film institute head Manuel Perez Estremera, a fervent supporter of Latin American film-making. Verdu and Estremera will be honored with City of Huelva Awards.

The Andalusian fest takes place Nov. 17 -24.

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