San Sebastian unveils Horizontes Latinos

Highlights include 'Sin nombre'

MADRID — Cary Joji Fukunaga’s “Sin nombre” will open San Sebastian’s Horizontes Latinos, a panorama of contempo films from or about Latin America.

Produced by Amy Kaufman for her Primary Prods. label and Mexico’s Canana, and distributed by Focus Features, “Sin nombre” wowed Sundance auds with its tense description of two young emigrants taking a dangerous train-ride across Latin America just to reach the U.S. border.

One section highlight will be “Daniel & Ana,” a disturbing tale, based on true events, set against Mexico’s underground porn industry. Fortissimo is handling foreign sales.

Another standout could be dysfunctional family drama “Francia,” directed by one of the best-known helmers in the section, Argentina’s versatile Israel Adrian Caetano (“Cronica de una fuga” ).

Pics compete for a Euros35,000 ($49,245) Horizontes Prize with 10 other titles.

Their wide geographical spread — from Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Peru and Uruguay — reflects the steady growth of local film industries throughout Latin America. Last year, the continent’s fastest building film biz was Chile, which doubled production levels to 22 films.

Horizontes mixes 2009 big fest players with preems.

“Huacho,” Alejandro Fernandez Almendras’ slice of Chilean rural realism, played Cannes Critics’ Week. “The Wind Journeys,” a Colombian master-disciple road movie with sweeping photography, from Ciro Guerra, competed in Un Certain Regard.

“Gigante,” a portrait of an obsessive supermarket night guard from Uruguay’s Adrian Benitez, won the Berlinale’s grand jury award.

Gustavo Montiel Pages’ “Tidal Wave,” another dysfunctional family drama, competed at Guadalajara.

Less seen is “The Last Summer of La Boyita,” Julia Solomonoff’s coming-into-puberty drama, fruit of Pedro and Agustin Almodovar’s first slate of Argentine co-productions at El Deseo.

Section draws on a clutch of titles which first screened incomplete in the popular twice-yearly San Sebastian/Toulouse Films in Progress showcase: “Perpetuum mobile,” from Nicolas Perez, portraying a working-class Mexican family; “Ilusiones opticas,” Chilean Cristian Jimenez’s feature debut, a three-part cross-cutter set in a rainy Valdivia winter; and “Contracorriente,” from Peru’s Javier Fuentes-Leon, about a closet homosexual in a tradition-bound fishing village.

Further Films in Progress alums are Spaniard Carlos Serrano Azcona with “The Tree,” a redemption drama with no final redemption, in the challenging line of its producers Carlos Reygadas and Jaime Rosales.

Screened in Toulouse, “La invencion de la carne” is helmed by Argentina’s Santiago Loza, admired for his downbeat, lack-of-relationship dramas, the Rotterdam Tiger-winning “Strange” and “4 Women, Barefoot.”

The 57th San Sebastian fest runs Sept. 18-26.

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