Co-Production Meeting to bow Mon.

'Bus,' 'Bunker' among fest's major producer event

SAN SEBASTIAN — Gabriel Rojas’ “Karen Cries in a Bus,” and Maria Zamora’s genre-grafting love triangle tale, “Bunker,” figure among projects at the San Sebastian’s Colombia-Spain Co-Production Meeting.

Running Monday,the Co-Production Meeting is the two countries’ first ever official producer huddle and one of San Sebastian fest’s biggest industry events this year.

Spanish shingles attending include some young but internationally ambitious outfits – Vaca, Six Sales, Avalon, Skaoloa – as well as vets Alta, Filmax-Castelao and Mate Cantero P.C. S.L.

“Karen,” a self-discovery tale about a woman who leaves her husband, is produced by Alejandro Prieto’s Cajanegra Prods. in Colombia.

Part thriller, drama and black comedy, the Avalon-produced “Bunker,” turns on an orchestra director who’s life changes when his g.f. disappears.

Another Meeting project, “Fragmentos de Amor,” is co-produced by Clara Maria Ochoa’s top Colombian production house CMO Producciones and Puerto Rico’s One Film Corp. A jealousy-laced love tale, reworking “One Thousand and One Nights,” “Fragmentos” is being written by Colombia’s Lina Arboleda.

Also from Colombia, “El gancho,” Sandra Higuita’s feature deb, is a Medellin-set youth friendship drama.

Spain’s Alta Produccion will tubthump “Aries,” a manhunt-cum- relationship drama, set in a small Castillian village. Vet Spanish director Carlos Benpar attends with immigrant comedy, “Tal para cual.”

A coming-of-ager set in Bogota – the title’s ironical – “La Playa” turns on a 16-year old Afro-Colombia street beggar struggling to make a fresh start in life. Project marks the first feature from Jorge Andres Botero’s Septima Films.

“Most of the [Colombian] projects are in first-phase development, – ideal for co-production meetings, since they still admit changes depending on potential co-production partners,” said Colombian producer Carolina Barrera, who took part in project selection.

Events kick off with state of-play presentations of Colombia and Spain’s production sectors, made by Claudia Triana de Vargas, director of Colombia’a Proimagenes en Movimiento.

Fabia Buenaventura, director general of Spain’s Fapae producers’ assn, will then summaruze financing opportunities in Spain.

A Spanish co-pro meet with Colombia is hardly surprising. Turning out just two-to-three films a year in the ’90s, Colombian production has now been energized by an avid home audience.

“It’s the country in Latin American with the biggest home audience enthusiasm for local films, more than in Mexico, Brazil or Argentina” said Jorge Sanchez, director of Mexico’s Guadalajara Film Festival.

Production levels, now around eight films a year, have also been goosed by tax coin and strong TV support – RCN Cine, a leading production player, will sponsor a Monday night dinner at San Sebastian honoring the Colombian delegation – and a young generation of producers.

Some will be at San Sebastian.

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