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Top Mexican Production Houses Itaca, Lucia Films, Pimienta Unveil New Movies at Los Cabos (EXCLUSIVE)

Backed by Fox, Labodigital, Chemistry, Work in Progress Mexico offers $136,000 in cash, post-pro prizes

New movies from three industry leaders in Mexico – Itaca Films “Charity,” Lucia Films’ “Heirs” and Pimienta Films’ “Holy Days” – will feature at Los Cabos Festival’s 2nd Works in Progress Mexico, a pix-in-post competition.

A showcase of new or second-feature talent south of the border for the impressive number of industry players who fly in to Los Cabos, drawn from Hollywood, New York, Canada and Mexico, which attracts most top players from the local industry, the WIP Mexico also offers cash prizes totaling $40,000 in cash and $96,000 in kind, in post-production services.

In the largest cash-prize, channel Fox + will offer $30,000 for Latin American broadcast rights outside Brazil for one WIP Mexico title.

Part of Alex Garcia’s AG Studios, whose operations now straddle L.A., New Orleans, Mexico City, Brazil and Colombia, Itaca Mexico’s “Charity” is the second film from Marcelino Islas Hernandez (“Martha”). Produced by Santiago Garcia Galvan, it turns on a couple seeking a fresh start – but not necessarily together – after the husband loses his leg in a car accident. Argentina-born Verónica Langer (“Y tu mamá también, “Nora’s Will”) plays wife Angélica, TV star Jaime Garza husband José Luis, Adriana Paz, Morelia Fest’s best actress for Aaron Fernandez’s “The Empty Hours,” a nurse, the object of José Luis’ fantasies.

Michel Franco, director of Cannes’ 2012 Un Certain Regard Award winner “After Lucia,” produces “Heirs.” Chronicling rich kid violence – as entertainment and authoritarian fantasy –  it marks Jorge Hernández Aldana’s follow-up to Diego Luna-starrer “Night Buffalo.”

Recipient of a Los Cabos 2013 Gabriel Figueroa development grant, Alejandra Márquez’s “Holy Days” turns on a young widow holidaying on the beach with her young daughter and the new man in her life. The experience transforms their relationship. Pimienta Films’ Nicolas Celis has taken a variety of production credits on milestone Mexican movies of late: “Somos lo que hay,” Jorge Michel Grau’s feature debut, Amat Escalante’s Cannes best director winner “Heli, a complex production which Celis line-produced, and Tatiana Huete’s “The Tiniest Place,” described as a “sublime documentary debut” by Variety, which he produced.

Three other Mexican movies, all in post-production, compete for a $10,000 cash prize awarded by a jury made up of Fortissimo’s Nicole Mackey, XYZ’s Nate Bolotin and Miami Festival director Jaie Laplante. Katina Media Mora’s “You Will Know What To Do With Me,” a story of surprise romance, marks her follow up to doomed relationship tale “LuTo,” her feature debut, seen last year at Los Cabos.

“El Charro de Toluquilla,” José Villalobos Romero’s first docu-feature, is about a mariachi singer, split between a fantasy world, his struggle with AIDs, and love for his little daughter. Also at rough cut, Juan Carlos Nuñez’s “Pies ligeros” turns on Raramuri Indians Victoriano Churo and Cirildo Chacarito, two of the greatest ultra-marathon runners Mexico ever has had, whose careers were eclipsed by a lack of state support. A Raramuri myth recounts a race between Raramuris and white men. The Raramuris won, but the white men stole the prize, one of the now ex-runners tells an interviewer in “Pies ligeros.” That legend could stand as an allegory for their own careers.

Chemistry offers $45,000 worth of post-production to a WIP title; two movies which receive Gabriel Figueroa Film Fund post-pro awards, worth $52,000 in services from pan-Latin American lab Labodigital, will also feature in the Work in Progress.

Expanded to five days, and designed as a meet and mart for the Mexico, U.S. and Canadian industries, the 3rd Los Cabos Intl. Film Festival runs Nov. 12-16.

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