Miami’s industry program spangled by new films, projects by Latin American name talent
MADRID – Fernando Meirelles’ “Nemesis,” Colombian Andres Baiz’s “Domestic Animals” and “Nobody is Watching,” from Argentina’s Julia Solomonoff, feature among ten projects to be pitched at the 31st Miami Festival’s mid-March ACE Co-Production Lab.
Presented by Latin American pay TV channel Moviecity, Miami Encuentros, the pix-in-post showcase of fest’s VeoMiami industry program, will highlight five movies, including “Voice Over,” from Cristian Jimenez (“Bonsoi”), and “Lulez,” by Luis Ortega (“Verano maldito, “Monobloc”). Toronto fest programmer Diana Sanchez curates Encuentros, which offers a $35,000 Moviecity pre-sales contract prize.
A project-based workshop, the ACE Co-Production Lab consists of case studies, pitching sessions, panels, one-to-one meetings, and networking events. Juan Pablo Galli, general manager of Argentina’s Disney-backed Patagonik, will deliver a master-class; panelists include the double Oscar nominee Luc Dery (“Incendies,” “Monsieur Lazhar”) at Microscope Productions, and Roya Vakili ,at Fox International Pictures (FIP).
Political thriller “Nemesis,” from Meirelles (“City of God,” “The Constant Gardener”) turns on Greek billionaire Aristotle Onassis’ face off with the Kennedy family. Daybreak Pictures’ David Aukin and Hal Vogel produce.
Baiz’s “Animals,” a black comedy, which Baiz will also produce, is a new project at Colombia Dynamo, his regular production house and a member of the Participant PanAmerica fund.
Produced by Cepa Audiovisual, which originated Ricardo Darin hit “7th Floor,” “Watching” marks the now New York-based Solomonoff’s follow-up to “Sisters” and “The Last Summer of la Boyita.”
Just shot, family dramedy “Voice Over” (pictured) is lead-produced by Bruno Bettati at Jirafa Films, who will also present Christopher Murray’s second feature, “Parable of a Blind Christ,” about a man who believes he can perform miracles, at the Lab. Compared to “Bonsoi,” “Voice Over” is “more mature, freer,” said Jirafa’s Augusto Matte.
Turning on two wild – and in-love – street kids, Ortega’s “Lulez” is the latest film from one of Argentina’s most distinctive filmmakers whose debut, “Black Box,” won MIFF’s World Dramatic Competition prize in 2003.
A reflection of the dramatic build in Latin American movie production levels over the last decade, the region – and the U.S. Hispanic market – features multiple pix-in-post competitions and co-production forums. The combination of name talent and reputed producers from Latin America and Europe alike suggest that 2014’s VeoMiami could host two of the strongest showcases in 2014.
At the Co-Production Lab, for instance, Argentine producer Hernan Musaluppi, a driving force in the New Argentine Cinema, will present Cuban Carlos Quintela’s M-Appeal sold and co-produced “Benjamin or the Planetarium,” an odd-ball dramedy; and Spanish producer-director Luis Angel Ramirez will talk up “Claria,” his Cuban mutant monster movie.
Also selected, murder embroglio “Dolores” reps Argentine helmer Gonzalo Tobal’s follow-up to Cannes 2012 Special Screening, “Villegas”; Felix Blum, at Germany’s Propeller Film, has “Toro 21,” a makeover by scribe Oliver Keidel (“Dr Aleman”) of the bestseller by French novelist Philippe Dijan, whose books have been adapted by Jean-Jacques Beneix (“Betty Blue”) and Andre Techine (“Unforgiveable”). A second German project, Marc Raymond Williams’ “The Saint of the Impossible,” produced by Jan Kruger at Port-au-Prince, is a coming of age tale set in New York’s Latino community. Sweden’s Ult Helfberg will pitch “The Last Battle,“ about a young Swede turned guerrilla combatant in 1970s’ Chile and Argentina.
Encuentros also features “Aurora,” from Chile’s Rodrigo Sepulveda (“Padre Nuestro”), with a reportedly powerful perf by Amparo Noguera as a woman who finds a dead baby girl in a landfill.
Of other Encuentros projects, Costa Rican Patricia Velazquez’s “Two Waters” turns on two 12-year-old kids on Costa Rica’s stunning but dirt-poor and drug-trade-infested Caribbean coast; Cuban Kiki Alvarez’s coming of age tale “Venice” tracks two young women employees at a hairdressing salon as, on payment day, they spend the night together in the city.
The Miami Festival runs March 7-16.
“Aurora,” (Rodrigo Sepulveda, Chile); Prod: Florencia Larrea
“Lulez,” (Luis Ortega, Argentina); Prod: Ignacio R. Sarchi
“Two Waters,” (Patricia Velasquez, Costa Rica /Colombia); Prod: Patricia Velasquez
“Venice,” (Kiki Alvarez, Cuba): Prod: Ivonne Cotorruelo
“Voice Over,” (Cristian Jimenez, Chile / France / Canada); Prod: Bruno Bettati
ACE CO-PRODUCTION LAB
Title (director); producer presenting the project, company
“Dolores,” (Gonzalo Tobal); Prod: Benjamin Domenech, REI Cine SRL, Argentina
“Nobody Is Watching,” (Julia Solomonoff); Prod: Felicitas Raffo, Cepa Audiovisual, Argentina
“Parable of a Blind Christ,” (Christopher Murray); Prod: Bruno Bettati, Jirafa, Chile
“Domestic Animals,” (Andres Baiz); Prod: Andres Baiz, Dynamo, Colombia
“Benjamin or the Planetarium,” (Carlos Quintela); Prod: Hernan Musaluppi, Rizoma, Cuba
“The Last Battle,” (Ulf Hultberg): Prod: Hultberg, Sweden
“Toro 21”; Prod: Felix Blum, Propeller Film, Germany
“The Saint of the Impossible,” (Mark Raymond Wilkins); Prod: Jan Kruger, Port-au-Prince Film, Germany
“Claria,” (Luis Angel Ramirez) Prod: Luis Angel Ramirez, Imval Producciones, Spain
“Nemesis,” (Fernando Meirelles); Prod: Steve Clarke-Hall, Skyline Films, U.K.