Argentina: Up Next! – Sofía Mora

Director Pitches ‘Cold Tomato Juice’ at Mar del Plata new LoboLab co-pro meet

MAR DEL PLATA– Buenos Aires-born Sofia Mora won Best Latin American movie at the 2009 Mar del Plata fest with her opera prima “The Hour of the Nap,” an exploration of a mourning family, especially of two siblings, almost teenagers, for their dad. Mora wrote “Nap’s” screenplay, having studied Image and Sound Design at Buenos Aires U and acting with Argentine actor Julio Chavez, stage director Laura Yusem, and actor-writer Luis Agustoni.

Mora kept cutting her cinema teeth working as a production manager on docus – Jose Luis Garcia’s “Candido Lopez, los campos de batalla,” Nestor Frenkel’s “Construccion de una ciudad” and Miguel Kohan’s “Cafe de los maestros,” among others.

Finally she is presenting “Cold Tomato Juice,” her much-awaited sophomore outing –still in development– at LoboLab, Mar del Plata’s new co-pro forum.

“‘Cold Tomato Juice’ aims to build a particular universe, focused on a dysfunctional family in the ‘80s, with a rich diversity of characters and definitely established as a comedy,” Mora explained to Variety.

“From a teenager’s point of view, we’ll explore it by joining him in his personal quest for identity. I want to develop a very strong visual style, supported by music, and create a rhythm, a chain of absurd situations that spark humor.”

If “Nap” offered a take on a kid’s discovery of life, sadness, “Tomato” skews towards a comic tone, turning on Juan, a rather shy and troubled teenager who is about to finish high school and is under remarkable pressure from his divorced parents –an apathetic psychiatrist and an ex hippie garden designer. But at this moment, Juan’s only purpose in life is to create a rock band.

“I believe both [kids, adolescence] are very powerful and universal themes. There is a sort of magic that flows through, I don’t really know what it is, but I feel that we have all felt it once at least,” Mora said.

“In ‘Nap,’ I wanted to describe a very deep change in a child’s life that happens when one of his parents dies. ‘Juice’ also shows the end of a period in life, adolescence, and how it feels to be at the edge of the future, trying to find one’s voice.”

Regarding next projects, “Very diverse stories came to mind lately, and they are often a specific genre; I have an interesting crime story and I’m also working on a road-movie comedy. What they do have in common is that they all explore familiar bonds. I believe that family is a great starting point for character portraits, and for all kind of stories actually.”

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