Mexico: Up Next! Elsa Reyes on Keeping Nimble

In Post on Marcelo Tobar’s ‘Oso Polar’ (‘Polar Bear’)

Zensky Cine founder Elsa Reyes touts a long list of lauded producing credits in both shorts and features, but the key to her company , in her view, is keeping projects “small, intimate and independent.”

Case in point is the latest project she has produced, Marcelo Tobar’s, “Oso Polar,” which he shot with iphones. “It’s a film where it’s the story that counts; how it was made wasn’t important, we didn’t need state-of-the-art camera technology,” says Reyes. Using crowd-funding coin of 200,000 pesos ($12,000), they shot around Mexico City with just two iphones and three actors. She’s now taking it to works-in-progress encounters to raise post-production funding. Tobar’s sibling drama “Asteroide” won Cabos’ Work in Progress Moviecity award last year.

This year she brings Jack Zagha’s “Almacenados” (“Warehoused”) to the festival’s Mexico Primero official competition for first and second features. An absurdist two-character drama, which won an Audience Award at Morelia, it turns on a young male rookie and his much older colleague who are stuck in a warehouse waiting for a shipment, that never arrives.

Another 2014 project, Isaac Ezban’s sci-fi pic “Los Parecidos” (“The Similars”) won both the Blood Window Best Latin American Feature Award at Sitges, Spain and the Best Film Press Award at the Morbido Fest, Mexico this year. “It was an experiment I did with Isaac, I never produced a film with special effects before,” Reyes notes.

Both pics participated in Cannes Film market’s Guadalajara Goes to Cannes work-in-progress presentation.

“I like making films with small or medium-sized budgets, lean crews and with directors who have stories to tell; movies which have a distinct point of view, that tell me something about the human condition.”

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