CANNES — Continuing its biggest overseas initiative outside its May event on France’s Riviera, the Cannes Festival has re-upped with Argentina’s National Film and Audiovisual Arts Institute (INCAA), for a further three editions of Ventana Sur, running over 2018-20.
A bold venture close to Cannes delegate general Thierry Fremaux’s heart, Ventana Sur was launched in 2009 by the Cannes Festival and Cannes Film Market on one hand and Argentina’s INCAA, its cornerstone film.TV funding agency, on the other.
Staged just after Thanksgiving in a delightfully early-Summer Buenos Aires, Ventana Sur aimed when launching to become a movie export market in Latin America for Latin America movies. Parallel to the market, Fremaux initiated a Cannes Festival Film Week in Buenos Aires which showcased key titles from May’s edition of the Cannes Festival.
Aimed at helping movies’ distribution in Argentina and Latin America, and presented with typical pizzazz by Fremaux, the Week’s screenings have proved wildly popular, with filmmakers such as Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne mobbed like pop-stars while presenting their latest movies.
Aided by the chemistry of its co-directors, Jerome Paillard and Bernardo Bergeret, and backed in an act of admirable continuity by the governments of both Cristina Kirchner and Mauricio Macri, Ventana Sur has grown dramatically. Its 2010 edition was the first to notch up a slew of international deals on Latin American movies, both sales agent pick-ups and direct distribution deals.
Increasingly from this decade, Ventana Sur has become a meeting point for a near preternaturally young generation of producers and filmmakers from not only Argentina but all over Latin America eager to not only snag sales agents for their movies but co-produce across the region.
Here, the energetic support of governmental film authority heads in the rest of Latin America, shepherding multitudinous delegations to Ventana Sur, has also proved key in building Ventana Sur.
At a Palais des Festivals signing ceremony on Sunday, Fremaux declared that Argentine cinema was one of the great national cinemas in the world, with large production levels. Ventana Sur had become one of its major markets, he went on, adding that the meet-mart had become not only a business event but also one of high-level creativity.
The Cannes Festival would like to help drive other events like Ventana Sur, Fremaux added. For the moment, however, Ventana Sur had proved an extraordinary and unique experience and its continuity is highly important, he added.
Ventana Sur has grown in each and every edition, Hayek added, citing the launch of a genre forum, Blood Window, and from last year, sections dedicated to TV series, animation and VR.
“In my opinion, Ventana Sur has become the key late-year event between Toronto and Berlin, with an ever-greater presence of producers from Europe and the U.S.,” said Matias Mosteirin, producer of “Wild Tales,” “The Clan” and now Santiago Mitre’s 2017 Un Certain Regard player, “The Summit.”
This year’s Ventana Sur runs Nov. 27 to Dec. 1, slightly earlier in dates than most years. It will see a “big, big ramp-up” in the presence of immersive content, such as VR, Bergeret added.