MAR DEL PLATA– “Corroborators,” “Guayaquil” and “Helada” feature in the packed lineup of Work In Progress, the Mar del Plata Fest event where Argentine productions currently in post are pitched by their helmer or producer in mini-sessions of 10-12 minutes.
Francisco d’Eufemia and Javier Zeballos’ opera prima “Fuga en el pais de las manzanas” delivers a gaucho western set in late nineteenth century Patagonia. It turns on a survival story based on the diaries of Argentinean scientific and explorer Perito Moreno, who was imprisoned by the Mapuches –indigenous people from south-western Argentina and south-central Chile– during the Conquest of the Desert campaign, lead by general Julio Argentino Roca.
Alongside new LoboLab section, Work in Progress is one of the main industry events at Mar del Plata.
Turning on a late 19th century secret society founded in Buenos Aires, “Corroborators” is the first solo feature of Luis Bernardez, an assistant director in Benjamin Avila’s “Clandestine Childhood.”
Also to be tunthumped: Melina Terribili’s debut “Hago falta,” on Uruguayan song-writer, poet and journalist Alfredo Zitarrosa, a key figure in Latin America popular music.
Seventeen projects, down from 2014’s 22, make are Work in Progress’ 2015 cut. Out of them, eleven are debuts and eleven docus, five first features. Work in Progress also features hybrids crisscrossing or erasing borders between fiction and documentary. Bios and autobiographical stories are also notably present.
Some other debuts are “El estaño de los peces,” a coming-of-ager tale helmed by Oscar Frenkel; the glamorous “Agosto Final,” where Eduardo Sanchez, who snagged the Argentine Film Critics Ass. Best Video Film for short “Atrapados en el fin del mundo”; “Amando y la emperatriz,” where Fernanda Otero tells a story of the special link between a nonagenarian and a steam locomotive both awaiting a final trip; and “Desaparecer,” where a man plunges into deep jungle in search of a disappeared friend.
“La helada negra” is the sophomore directorial effort of Maximiliano Schonfeld, who won the Buenos Aires Feisal Prize, and Hamburgo’s Young Talent winner for “Germania.” Pic turns on the mysterious arrival of a young woman at a farm threatened by a frost.
Nicolas Capelli (thriller “Matar a Videla”) offers –also a second feature,– “El encuentro en Guayaquil,” about an hypothetical rendezvous between Latin American independence prime movers San Martin and Bolivar.
Also second features are those from Federico Godfried (dramedy “La Tigra, Chaco”) and Ruben Plataneo (“El gran rio”). Godfried’s “Pinamar” follows two siblings running into an unexpected lost paradise; Plataneo’s “El triple Crimen” investigates the murders of Jere, Mono and Patom, three social activists of the Frente Popular Dario Santillan in Villa Moreno.
“8 ½”-ish “Mi histeria en el cine,” is the fouth feature from Maria Victoria Menis’ (“Little Sky”), a dramedy about a filmmaker questioning her professional future.
Genre fare includes Nicolas Abellos’s debut,“La mirada escrita,” about a murderer unveiled by translating news.
In the documentaries arena, “Valherjes” is a current recreation of historical medieval battles in Eastern Europe, helmed by Juan Scmidt (black crime comedy “Polvareda”); Ana Amor, Valeria Davila and Jessica Marsiglione are behind “Mamadua: nacer en conciencia,” about dignity at delivery; Jeff Zorrilla’s “Monger,” depicting mongering universe in Buenos Aires; and Maria Perez Escala’s “Wanderlust, Cuerpos en transito,” double autobiographical docu road-movie from Egypt to Germany.
The Work in Progress sidebar is personally curated by Mar del Plata fest prexy Jose Martinez Suarez and programer Fernando Arca.
Juries are cinema researcher Vanesa Fernandez Guerra, Erick Gonzalez, LaRed coordinator and programmer director at Toulouse Latin American fest, and producer Constanza Sanz Palacios (Edgardo Cozarinsky’s “Notes For An Imaginary Biography”).
Work in Progress sessions take place Nov. 5-6