Guadalajara Film Festival Co-Production Meeting grows

Co-prods and nearly-there projects are in the spotlight this year at Guadalajara.

Fest’s fifth annual Co-Production Meeting continues to grow, with 30 projects — seven of them docs — now in competish. “There’s always a good possibility of discovery with little-known Latin American directors,” says Barcelona-based producer Michel Ruben. “Just look at Argentina’s Natalia Smirnoff, whose first film, ‘Puzzle,’ played in competition at the Berlinale.”

Coming off “Bad Day to Go Fishing,” Uruguay’s Alvaro Brech-ner is one to watch, along with Spain’s Santi Amodeo (“Doghead”) and Berlin Fipresci winner Oscar Ruiz Navia (“Crab Trap”).

Colombia and Chile also feature heavily in the lineup.

“There’s more excite-ment about film in Latin America than in Europe right now,” Ruben says, “and directors from countries outside Mexico, Brazil and Argentina are starting to get noticed.”

The Guadalajara Constructs series will offer a peek at six almost-complete projects including Gerardo Chijona’s “Ticket to Paradise,” and “Kiddo” from fellow Cuban Juan Carlos Cremata.

Looking on will be Argentine producer-director Luis Puenzo and prolific Portuguese producer Paolo Branco.

Market organizer Alejandra Paulin says this year’s events are in “consolidation,” as several features are expanded in lieu of new ones being established.

France and Andalusia are onboard with special meet-ups scheduled, along with presentations from French fund Fonds Sud and Spanish DRM agency Egeda.

This year’s Producers Network will feature a gaggle of Gallic and U.S. distribs, including Pyramide, MK2, Magnolia and Emerging Pictures.

A music-meets-documentaries event series, Son de Cine, will dot the festival and will be stocked with directors’ presence and live performances.

In the year Mexico goes bicentennial crazy, helmer Beto Gomez takes the reins for a very Mexican cinema party, and a special tribute to vet actress and pro-industry politico Maria Rojo will unfurl.

And as a final touch, “Like Water for Chocolate’s” Lumi Cavazos and “On Childhood’s” Damian Alcazar, will provide requisite eye candy, presenting for this year’s inauguration.

Guadalajara Film Festival

When: March 12-20

Web: festivalcineguadalajara.com

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