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‘Failure,’ ‘Habitacion’ Play at Cabos in Progress

Seven pix-in-post competition features debuts, genre

Ricardo Silva’s “Failure” and omnibus feature “La habitacion” are included in the seven pic line-up of Los Cabos In Progress, which runs Nov. 12-14 at the Mexican festival.

The third Los Cabos pix-in-post competition features three docus, three debuts and one genre pic.

“We are aware that the first film in a director’s career to some extent determines their future, so we want their presentation to be effective and enjoy large guidance,” fest org sources told Variety.

After a surprising debut with “Navajazo,” one of Latin America’s 2014 international fest hits, Ricardo Silva will present at Los Cabos his awaited sophomore effort “Failure.”

Produced –like his “low-budgeted Navajazo”– by Tijuana and San Diego-based Paulina Valencia’s Specola, “Failure” depicts formerly renowned musician, battling to accomplish the performance of his lifetime, and a boy who believes in his own immortality to fight everyday demons.

“Navajazo” took the best picture prize at the Jeonju International Film Festival in May where it generated admiration and controversy due to its explicit, grim treatment of drugs and hookers in Tijuana. Last year, pic took the Filmmakers of the Present Golden Leopard at Locarno.

Helmed by Carlos Carrera, Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Carlos Bolado, Ernesto Contreras, Alfonso Pineda Ulloa, Alejandro Valle, Ivan Avila Duenas and Natalia Beristain, “La habitacion” is the newest film from Edher Campos’ Machete Producciones. Produced by Campos, Luis Salinas, Marta Lewandowska and Marta Habior, “Habitacion” is penned by Maria Diego Hernandez and tells eight stories set between 1910 and the present time, accumulating a metaphor for Mexico over the last century.

Cabos in Progress features three first time feature directors, two being Maria Jose Cuevas with “Beauties of the Night” and Rodrigo Cervantes, with “Landscapes.” Produced by Cuevas, Christian Valdelievre, Moises Cosio, Gerardo Gatica, Alberto Muffelmann and Jaime Ramos, musical docu “Night” follows five women, leading showgirls in Mexico in the 1970’s and 1980’s. They dissect “the inexorable passage of time, the lost youth, the mirage of fame, the pursuit of happiness, offering a tantalizing glimpse of their past splendor, but also reaffirming their present lives,” per Cuevas.

First-timer Rodrigo Cervantes will offer the Pauline Galtie and Victor Shuchleib produced “Landscapes,” turning on the story of two brothers that drift through life, affected by their circumstances (their transition to adulthood). It reproduces a world that subjects them to a pre-ordained fate (the process of corruption). The collision of these factors is the tragic event,” said Cervantes, who trained in Mexico and at the London Film School. Cast includes Dario Yazbek, Sebastian Aguirre Boeda and Pia Laborde.

One of last years’ Cabo in Progress entries, Isaac Ezban’s “The Incident,” helped Ezban score a representation deal with Paradigm. Fest include this year another genre pic, a first feature from helmer duo Carlos Algara  –his short “El firulete” won best Latino short film at NYC’s Downtown fest– and Alejandro Martinez Beltran. They present mystery thriller “Veronica,” in which a retired middle-aged psychologist agrees to take the case of Veronica de la Serna, a young woman whose therapist has mysteriously disappeared. Juan Carlos Segura at L.A. and Mexico City based Producciones a Ciegas – whose credits include Francesca Gregorini’s “The Truth About Emmanuel” – produces.

Well-known helmer Sebastian Hiriart (“Natural Philosophy of Love,” “A Stone’s Throw Away”) will present “Carrion.” Produced by Hiriart himself through Galopando, “Carrion” centers on a young couple that is traveling to a tropical paradise when a storm threatens the coast of southern Mexico. The romantic vacation will take an unexpected turn.

A former collaborator with Pablo Cruz’s outfit Canana Films, Kyzza Terrazas will compete at Cabos in Progress with “We Are Tongue,” an exploration about the meaning of rap for new generations who find in this musical genre a radical way to express anguish and their own relationship with others and society.

“This is a piece about the power of words, it is of course about rap and hip-hop culture but it also tries to chronicle youth and present violence in Mexico,” said its producer Carlos Sosa, at Viento del Norte Cine. “Machetes” marked the feature film debut of Terrazas, a short story and script writer and producer, who also exec produced Gerardo Naranjo’s “Voy a explotar” and “Cochochi,” and wrote Gael Garcia Bernal’s feature debut “Deficit.”

Cabos in Progress jury is formed by Dennis Lim, Lincoln Center Film Society head of programming, Cannes Directors’ Fortnight artistic director Edouard Waintrop, and Emilie Georges, Memento Films Intl. general director.

The Cabos pix-in-post sidebar is sponsored by Fox Plus and Chemistry. The total value of the prizes awarded by Los Cabos Film Festival is $214,000. In addition, all the projects are candidates for inclusion in Los Cabos Goes to Cannes, to unspool at Cannes next year.

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