'Fish' marks debut of Mexico's Claudia Sainte-Luce

BUENOS AIRES — Mexico’s “The Amazing Cat Fish” and Colombia’s “Dust on the Tongue” shared honors Monday at Ventana Sur’s Primer Corte pix-in-post showcase, the Latin American film mart’s only competitive section.

First-timer Sainte-Luce’s semi-autobiographical family-set love story, “Cat Fish” took Ventana Sur’s main Primer Corte Award. It charts the growing friendship between a lonely young girl, who works at a supermarket, and a mother and her children.

Screening Sunday in rough-cut, it was produced by Mexico’s Canibal Networks and Jaqueca Films, and backed by Mexico’s Imcine film board with a subsidy from its Foprocine fund.

The Primer Corte Award includes five prizes: Euros15,000 ($19,440) for distribution in France from Cine Plus Club; $1,330-$5,200 per country to Europa Distribution members releasing “Fish”; up to $5,200 in Titra TVS post-prod services; $2,600 from EU pic promotion scheme Eye on Films; and an ad campaign from Argentina’s Film Suez.

Bruno Deloye, a channel manager at France’s Canal Plus whose pay TV rights pick-ups can determine whether films sell to France, announced the Primer Corte Award.

“Cat Fish” was impressive as a first movie, he said.

The highest-profile helmer competing at Ventana Sur, Colombia’s Ruben Mendoza (“The Stoplight Society”), took a batch of plaudit organized by Argentina’s Haciendocine film magazine for “Dust on the Tongue,” a withering fiction portrait of a cruel, brutal and vulgar family patriarch inspired by the figure of Mendoza’s own grandfather. Set on Colombia’s stunning Plains, “Dust” is produced by Colombia’s Dia-fragma and France’s Cine-Sud Promotion.

It was put through the Cinefondation Residence program.

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