San Sebastian reveals Progress

'El Arbol,' 'Artico' among lineup

Carlos Serrano Azcona’s “El Arbol” and Santiago Loza’s “Artico” feature in San Sebastian’s Films in Progress, one of the Spanish confab’s key industry showcases.

The sidebar also boasts a strong Chilean showing, a sign of the country’s building film production muscle.

Redemption drama “El Arbol” teams two left-of-field filmmakers, Mexico’s Carlos Reygadas (“Silent Light”) and Spain’s Jaime Rosales (“Solitary Fragments”) as producers; Jaime Romandia’s Mantarraya also produces.

“Artico” is from Argentina’s Santiago Loza, admired for the Rotterdam Tiger-winning “Strange” (2003) and “4 Women, Barefoot” (2005). “Artico” leaves the drab industrial sprawl of those pics for a road movie.

Chile contributes two films to Films in Progress: “Ilusiones opticas,” Cristian Jimenez’s feature debut, set in a rainy Valdivia winter; and “La Nana,” a portrait of the serf-like existence of a housemaid, directed by graphic artist and musician turned filmmaker, Sebastian Silva.

Films in Progress is rounded out by two more Mexican entries: “Norteado,” helmed by Rigoberto Perezcano, is a docu-drama tracking a boy’s attempts to cross the U.S. frontier. It was co-financed by Mexico’s Imcine Film Institute and Article 226 film tax coin. Florence Jaugey’s “La Yuma” charts the romance between a poor girl and a middle-class student in Managua, Nicaragua.

A jewel in San Sebastian’s commerce crown, Films in Progress offers first looks at top-notch, if small, Latin American fare, which sometimes go on to snag major fest berths and sales abroad.

Recent Progress players include “Acne” and “Tony Manero,” picked up by Gallic sales agents Rezo and Funny Balloons and both Cannes Directors’ Fortnight standouts this year.

San Sebastian runs Sept. 18-27.

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