Mapfre, San Sebastian highlight Brazil

Pics include 'Vacation,' 'Sand,' 'Playing'

MADRID — Cao Hamburger’s “The Year My Parents Went on Vacation,” Andrucha Waddington’s “The House of Sand” and Eduardo Coutinho’s “Playing” will feature in the 4 +1: Contemporary Brazilian Cinema panorama at late September’s San Sebastian Film Festival.

The showcase marks the second year of collaboration between San Sebastian and Spain’s Fundacion Mapfre, which backs November’s 4 +1 five-city festival, a showcase for unreleased auteur movies.

The film that established Hamburger’s rep as one of Brazil’s up-and-coming filmmakers, the Gullane-produced coming-of-age tale “Parents” played Berlin’s 2008 competition and was a sales hit for Films Distribution.

A sweeping three-generation femme drama, the Conspiracao lead-produced “Sand” marked a big step-up for Waddington, snagging a Sony Pictures Classics U.S. pickup.

A fiction/docu account of eight women’s lives, 2007’s rave-reviewed “Playing” is one of the latest works from Brazil’s most eminent docu filmmaker.

Other recent featured Brazilian gems include multimedia artist Cao Guimaraes’ magnificently shot docu pic “Drifter,” capturing the sensations of seemingly endless wandering, Chico Teixeira’s first feature “Alice’s House,” portraying tumultuous life in a working-class Sao Paulo household, and first-timer Sergio Borges’ three-part character study “The Sky Above,” a cutting-edge title from Brazil’s Belo Horizonte film collective Teia.

Rounding up the section are Sergio Oksman’s “The Beautician,” a docu portrait of an Auschwitz survivor, and “Santiago,” from Joao Moreira Salles, brother of Walter, on the director’s failed attempt to make a documentary about his larger-than-life family butler.

The Fundacion Mapfre and San Sebastian festival will once more co-organize the Fundacion Mapfre Small Film Studio Kids’ Tent, offering tykes workshops and other activities related to cinema.

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