Courtesy of Dos Sentidos

‘Ballroom,’ ‘Lake,’ ‘Julio’s Night’ Take Coveted Argos Prizes

GUADALAJARA – Mexico’s ‘Asfixia,’ Chile’s ‘Another Lake,’ and Mexico’s “I’m No Longer Here” and “Mariachis” win big at the 2016 Guadalajara Fest’s Co-Pro Meeting, scoring two prizes a piece, while ‘Lake,’ ‘Ballroom’ and ‘Julio’s Night,’ all first features, snagged coveted Argos Prizes, implying Pesos3 million ($164,000) a shot in co-pro coin, a world for many Latin American productions.

A love story between two outsiders, an Albino ex-con and hypochondriac, picking up on director Kenya Marquez’s interest in what she calls “a lack of resignation before loss,” seen in her Morelia hit and Miami Fest winner “Expiry Date,” “Asfixia” won lab and film development service prizes from Mexico City’s Estudios Churubusco and equipment hire from Mexico’s Equipment & Film Design (EFD).

Chilean actress-turned-director Francisca Silva’s “Another Lake,” about a young teen whose repressive medic father attributes her wild adolescence to a personality disorder, took an award from the U.S. National Assn. of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP), and one of the three Argos Prizes.

Argos Cine’s other two co-production deals went to “Nights of July,” an odd-ball romance from Mexico’s Axel Muñoz, and “Ballroom,” from Costa Rica’s Ivan Porras, a last-chance drama about a 72-year-old ex soccer-player, who never won anything, attempting to win a tropical dance contest.

“We’d like to offer a complete lineup of production support, from wardrobe, props, services, packaging, and if necessary use of a soundstage at or new Gabriel Garcia Marquez production center: Infrastructure, logistics, creative and financial support. From now on, we’re your partners,” said Argos founder Epigmenio Ibarra.

Produced by two of Mexico’s go-getting young producers, Pablo Zimbron at Varios Lobos and Gerardo Gatica at Panorama, Fernando Frias’ Sundance Lab developed “I’m No Longer Here” won a second NALIP plaudit and a pitching prize at Talents Guadalajara, held in collaboration with Berlinale Talents.

Frias told Variety project was now awaiting funding from either Mexico or the U.S, most probably the former, which would trigger completion finance.

Project turns on a 17-year-old Cholombiano, a Mexican urban tribe member, forced to emigrate from Monterrey to Queens, where his counter-culture is seen as a commodity.

Docu-feature “Tito’s Last Mariachis,” from Francisco Ohem, about the impact of Golden Age Mexican cinema on former-Yugoslavia, won the IMCINE-Flaherty Prize, an invite to  New York’s 62nd Robert Flaherty Film Seminar, and the Valvula Films Prize in post-production services.

In further awards, “My Favorite Birthday,” one of this year’s edgier projects, about an eight-year old girl’s puppet theater that exposes the world of lust, betrayal and crime of her parents, took a Newart post-pro award worth Pesos 650,000 ($36,500). David Castañon’s “No Time To Forget,” about three women Alzheimer’s victims, all exiles, took a second Talents Guadalajara nod. And Jhonny Hendrix’s “Candelaria,” turning on a sixtysomething couple who vidcam and spice up their sex lives, won a second Estudios Churrubusco prize which, remarkably, committed to supplying a 35mm print for the project.

“In a nostalgic way of things, this prize made us feel very good,” said vet Bosco Arochi, who heads up production at Mexico City’s Esudios Churubusco, its main soundstage facility.

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