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‘Dust,’ ‘Zebra’ play Guadalajara Construye

Rough cut showcases runs March 29-30

GUADALAJARA, Mexico — Mexican Javier Fernando Leon’s “Zebra,” Julio Hernandez Cordon’s “Dust” and “Sergeant Matacho,” from Colombia’s William Gonzalez, all unspool at the fifth Guadalajara Construye.

Trio of films deliver withering takes on the consequences of armed conflict — natural perhaps given their filmmakers’ countries of origin: Guadalajara Construye focuses on films from Mexico, Colombia and Central America.

An absurdist take on the Mexican Revolution, “Zebra” marks the feature debut of screenwriter-turned-helmer Leon, who co-wrote celebrated Mexican corruption satire “Herod’s Law.”

Adding further cache, “Zebra” walked off last year with the main Churubusco Prize at the Guadalajara Fest’s sixth Ibero-American Co-production Meeting.

Action-adventure movie “Matacho” turns on a seeming paradox: In 1948 Colombia, a young Rosalba Velasco witnesses her peasant husband’s murder. Subsequently, she has children with a string of bandit leaders, engendering life as a mother, but ending it as a revenge-seeking guerrilla.

Film is based on real events and figures in Colombian history and deals with the real victims of armed conflict, said producer Aline Hleap Borrero, at Enic Prods.

Set in a Guatemala still scarred by its 1960-96 civil war, “Dust” turns on two docu filmmakers, Ignacio and Alejandra, recording indigenous women’s search for the remains of war victims. Meanwhile, one subject’s son dreams of revenge against the man who turned in his father.

According to Guatemalan-Mexican Hernandez Cordon, “Dust” in essence is a “naturalistic and contemplative personal film about the family.”

Running Tuesday and Wednesday before Mexico’s Guadalajara Intl. Film Festival, which kicks off Friday, Guadalajara Construye highlights films in post-production seeking completion finance.

GC has also tapped Argentina’s “The Tenth Circle,” a crime of passion drama by Mempo Giardinelli and Juan Pablo Mendez, following Guadalajara’s collaboration pact with Chile’s Vina del Mar Festival, where “Circle” played last November.

Of other GC films, Mauricio Novelo Jarque’s “Interior/Exterior/Interior/Exterior” is a trip through contempo Japan with its artists as guides, and animated feature “Fat, Bald, Short Man” a dark-humored social parable from Colombian first-timer Carlos Osuna.

GC’s eight prizes are granted by top Mexican outfits: Sales company Latinofusion, for instance, puts up a $20,000 minimum guarantee against international rights on one pic; New Art Digital gives $20,000 worth in online services and/or color correction on a title; and Churubusco Studios covers transfer to positive print on a film as well.

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