MADRID — Nicolas Puenzo’s “Los Ultimos,” Natalia Beristain’s “The Goodbyes” and Kiki Alvarez’s “Soul Sister” have made the cut of Ventana Sur’s 8th Primer Plano, its traditionally arthouse pix-in-post showcase which is one of the Latin American movie market’s main industry draws.
Curated by Cannes’ Cinefondation’s Georges Goldenstern, Primer Corte highlights the awaited feature movie directorial debut of Nicolas Puenzo, a cinematographer on “The German Doctor,” the buzzed up bio from Mexico’s Beristain, the latest from Cuba’s Kiki Alvarez, whose steamy “Venecia” played Toronto. But it also takes in two broader comedies, Bolivia’s “Las Malcogidas” and “Las Oriyinales” as comedy continues to break out of home territories, scoring pan-Latin American and remake deals.
Written by Nicolas and Lucia Puenzo, and helmed by the former, Nicolas, a co-director of TV series “Cromo,” “Los Ultimos” is set in the near future, turning on a couple, a pregnant Quechua girl and her creole partner, who escape from a refugee camp, trecking south on a Bolivia Altiplano laid waste by industrial exploitation and bloody militia, heading to Chile and the sea. They meet Ruiz, a 50-year-old, war-scarred photographer who seeks to save them from the war zone, salvaging what remains of his humanity. Luis, Lucia, Esteban and Nicolas Puenzo produce; Lucero Garzon associate produces.
A strong cast is top lined by German Palacios (“In Therapy”), Natalia Oreiro (“The German Doctor”), newcomer Juana Burga and Peter Lanzani (“The Clan”).
Mexican Beristain’s follow-up to “She Doesn’t Want to Sleep Alone,” a Morelia Festival 2012 Best Mexican Feature winner, “Los adioses” (“The Goodbyes”) turns on the romantic disappointments, joy and ruptures of Mexico’s Rosario Castellanos, one of its greatest women writers of last century. Rafael Ley and Maria Jose Cordova’s Woo Films once more produces.
Cuban Kiki Alvarez’s seventh feature, “Soul Sister” chronicles “a queer idyll,”in Alvarez’s words. it marks the latest from a director who has carved out a name for himself with movies such as “Venecia” and “Sharing Stella,” human stories set against the vicissitudes of contemporary Cuba.
Presented in 2015 Berlin Talents, “Body Electric,” from Brazil’s Marcelo Caetano, is a story of obsession, turning on Elias, a designer running a Sao Paolo fashion factory who falls in love with Filipe, an African immigrant working on the production line. Director Hilton Lacerda, whose “Tattoo” won Special Jury Prize and best actor at the 2013 Rio Festival, co-wrote the screenplay.
Directed by Bolivia’s Denise Arancbia, and an acid comedy-musical, according to trade publication Latam Cinema, “Las malcogidas” turns on a 16-stone woman who tries to lose weight, save up for her brother’s sex change and experience her first true orgasm.
A roll-call of Colombian TV stars headline “Las Oriyinales,” a seven-part mainstream comedy about Colombian’s keeping up appearances, to the point of hypocrisy and deceit. Julian Arango (“Betty La Fea”), Diego Trujillo (“Breaking Bad”) and Paola Turbay (“Love in the Time of Cholera”) are among the cast. Veteran Harold Trompetero, director of family road-movie “El Paseo,” the highest-grossing Colombian movie of 2010, directs.