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‘Bala,’ ‘Swirl,’ ‘Bonsai’ play Horizontes

San Sebastian fest unveils 13-pic lineup

Gerardo Naranjo’s “Miss Bala,” “Swirl,” from Brazil’s Clarissa Campolina and Helvecio Marins, and Chilean Christian Jimenez’s “Bonsai” will compete in the San Sebastian Film Festival’s Horizontes Latinos sidebar.

The Latin American section, whose 13 pics compete for a €35,000 ($50,000) prize, mixes major fest standouts and the latest productions from Latin America’s most internationally minded film companies: Mexico’s Canana, Brazil’s Dezenove Som e Imagem, Colombia’s 64th Films, Argentina’s Rizoma and Chile’s Fabula and Jirafa.

Section opens with “Miss Bala,” an action-thriller social issue pic that denounces drug cartels’ presence in Mexican social life. Canana produces, with Fox Intl. Prods. handling international sales. Pic played in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard.

Halfway between art film and art installation, “Swirl” is a portrait of Brazilian rural myths produced by Dezenove and Spain’s Eddie Saeta. It world preems at Venice fest’s Horizons.

Another Un Certain Regard player, “Bonsai,” a dramedy harking back to two literature students’ love affair, is produced by Bruno Bettati’s Jirafa Films and Hernan Musaluppi’s Rizoma Films.

Of further fest highlights, Milagros Mumenthaler’s three sisters drama “Back to Stay” won Locarno Leopards for film and actress (Maria Canale). Also from Argentina, Pablo Giorgelli’s romantic road movie “Las Acacias” landed Cannes’ Camera d’Or.

Alejandro Landes’ true-account tale “Porfirio” chronicles a wheelchair-bound man’s building wrath at state bureaucracy.

Many Horizontes players came up through Films in Progress, the San Sebastian and Toulouse fests’ completion finance showcase: Brazilian Julia Murat’s ghost village set “Historias… que so existem quando lembradas,” now bound for Venice Days; Iria Gomez Concheiro’s slow-burning Mexican barrio drama “The Cinema Hold Up,” which played Sundance; Bernardo Arellano’s 2010 FIP Industry Award winner “Between Night and Day”; and another Sundance player, Carlos Moreno’s social satire “All Your Dead Ones,” produced by Diego Ramirez’s 64ª Films.

Horizontes also leaves room for lesser-known films: Sebastian Cordero’s low-budget, free-wheeling road movie, “Pescador,” produced by Colombian Alejandro Arango’s burgeoning genre powerhouse Contento Films; Oscar Godoy’s Fabula-produced “Ulysses,” an immigration tale seen at April’s San Francisco Festival; and “Anonimo,” from Chilean first-timer Renato Perez, about a teen girl’s friendship with a man who hides a dark past.

Fest runs Sept. 16-24.

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