Jésus Magña Vázquez

Over the next two days (Sep 22-23) the Raindance Film Festival will partner with the Guadalajara Film Festival (FIGC) to present its second annual Co-Production Forum, with a special focus on Ibero-American films and filmmakers. As part of the festival’s industry arm, the Forum includes a series of panels, conferences, seminars and workshops – including a pitching skills workshop with festival founder Elliot Grove and a product placement lecture from Aaron Wileman – intended to help strengthen links between the U.K. and American film industries.

Says David Martinez, Raindance Film Festival Assistant Producer, “Since Raindance Film Festival started bonding with FIC Guadalajara in 2012 to promote Mexican cinema, the strand evolved into hosting the first Co-Production Forum Focused on Mexico. Now in its second year, the Co-Production Forum extends to Ibero-American projects and promises to be a friendly space of collaboration between both industries.”

For this year’s Forum, five projects, currently in development, have been selected – three from Spain and two from Mexico – with the aim of giving the filmmakers the opportunity to secure funding and U.K. co-productions for their projects. The first of the Spanish titles is Tiahoga Ruge’s “The Bicycle”, which tells the story of Dutch painter Nancy Van Overveldt. A resident of Holland and Mexico, Van Overveldt made history in the latter in 1952 by becoming the first woman to ride a bicycle there. The film is ‘narrated’ by the artist’s travel paintings, which, according to the director’s statement, reflect “the parallel social, cultural and environmental development of Mexico and Europe”

“The Bicycle is followed by two more Spanish titles. First is Sonia Albert-Sobrino and Miriam Albert-Sobrino’s “Melita”, the tale of a deaf 10-year-old girl who, when the prophecy of her gather’s death is fulfilled, “must adopt the ingrained magical elements of the reality she lives in, or her reckless behaviour will have devastating consequences”. Similarly enigmatic is Horacio Alcala and Aitor Echevarria’s “The Icarus”, described as “a love story wrapped in a slowly unfolding mystery” set “in the context of a bio-political dystopia”.

Mexico presents the latest project from Jésus Magña Vázquez, who recently wrapped “El Alien Y Yo” and whose “Alicia en el Pais de Maria” won Best International Film at Raindance last year. “Human Resources” promises to be a dark and violent story of workplace tensions, as a printing supervisor takes gleeful revenge about the colleague who stole his promotion. Also from Mexico, with a Spanish component, is Mexico Eduardo Naranjo’s “I Faust”, in which a Mexican tormented by family issues travels to Barcelona to study photography. He falls in love, is diagnosed with a serious illness, and returns home to face the “sickness, frustration and depression” that will take the story to a tragic climax.

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