GUADALAJARA, Mexico — Chilean Patricio Guzman’s “Cordillera,” Dolores Fonzi-starrer “The White Devil” and “Nudo Mixteco,” a women’s drama produced by Lucia Carreras, are among projects to be pitched at an expanded 13th Guadalajara Co-Production Meeting, which runs March 12-14 at the Mexican Festival.
Produced by Chile’s Alexandra Galvis and Renate Sachse in Paris and directed by Guzman, the doyen of Latin American documentary filmmakers, “Cordillera” marks the final part of a documentary trilogy begun by 2010’s “Nostalgia For the Light” and continued with “The Pearl Button,” a best screenplay winner at the 2015 Berlin Festival.
In it, Guzman sets out to explore the Andes, a “wall which separates us [Chileans] from the world” and a mountain range which “contains the history of all mankind,” Guzman has said.
A fiction feature, “Nudo Mixteco” turns on immigration and, above all three indigenous women’s doubts and fears as they battle for more freedom in their lives and sexuality. It unspools against the background of patron saint festivities in the Oaxaca Mixtec. Actress Angeles Cruz, star of Carreras’ “Tamara and the Lady Bug,” directs; writer-director Carreras (“Leap Year,” “See You Dad”) produces with Lola Ovando and Cruz.
Directed by Ignacio Rodgers, and starring Dolores Fonzi, (“El Aura,” “Paulina,” “Truman”), one of the foremost actresses of her generation in Argentina, “The White Devil” has its origins in classic American horror, following six friends on a camping trip who terrorized by a sinister figure. But at least two factors set it apart from stock horror, said Juan Pablo Gugliotta, at Argentina’s Magma Cine. One is the presence of “deep Latin American roots, Argentine indigenous myths and legends.” The other: That “The White Devil’s” friends are also not teens but adults in their mid-to-late-thirties.
Producer of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s “Amores Perros,” Eugenio Derbez’s “Instructions Not Included” and “Don’t Blame the Kid,” the highest-grossing Mexican movie of 2016, Monica Lozano and director Adolfo Davila will present “Violent Butterflies,” about a highly-politicized young couple’s reaction to unpunished police brutality, set against the background of disaffection of Mexican youth with their political establishment.
Among projects, there is also a good buzz on “The False Prophet,” “Finding the Werewolf,” “The Saddest Goal,” and “Acapulco Golden.”
One of Latin America’s longest-running industry events – “there have been multiple attempts to launch markets in Mexico, but it’s no small feat to get to 15 editions,” said Estrella Araiza, Guadalajara Fest Market and Industry Director – the Guadalajara Film Market will expand in floor space, facilities and its number of Co-Production Meeting projects, up from 30 to 34. The strength of the projects warranted it, said Meeting coordinator Angelica Lares.
Another departure: “We used to have three or four sponsors, now we have nine, from Mexico and Latin America,” said Lares.
New this year is Mexico’s Pablo Mondragon, offering a score or soundtrack to one film. Mexican heavyweights, Ipigmenio Ibarra’s Argos Comunicación, producer of Telemundo’s “The Lord of the Skies” and Netflix’s upcoming Kate del Castillo-starrer “Ingobernable,” will offer from Pesos 500,000 ($25,600) up to Pesos 3 million ($154,000) in co-production equity in three projects, about 25% of the budget of many Latin American films. Estudios Churubusco, Mexico City’s most famous studio, will put production and post-production support.
Projects attest to the determination of a new generation of filmmakers in Latin America to bear witness to the daunting challenges facing the continent in its recent past and especially tumultuous current times.
Their agenda is broad, from racism to populism, social exclusion and violence, past and present. But some narratives are particularly notable: a build in the number of films that seek to give a voice to indigenous people in Latin America or talk about marginalization; and the growing attempt to introduce some genre gristle to some of the bigger projects on display.
“These are projects from Latin America after all. There has always been a focus on immigration, and the theme of marginalization links a number of projects,” said Lares, pointing to “The Country of Forgotten Dreams,” “The Humidity of the Desert” and “A Shadeless Man.”
PROJECTS AT THE 2017 13TH GUADALAJARA CO-PRODUCTION MEETING, MARCH 12-14, 2017
‘1977 EL TRATADO – HIJO DE TIGRE Y MULA’ (Annie Canavaggio, Panama) The second feature doc from Canavaggio, whose debut, “Breaking the Wave,” a surfing film with social point, was a high-point of the 2014 IFF Panama. An analysis of the seven years of negotiations leading up to the 1977 Torrijos-Carter Treaty, it scored best doc at December’s round of Panama state awards.
‘ACAPULCO GOLDEN’ (Pablo Delgado, Mexico, U.S.) Second movie from Mexico’s Pablo Delgado, after 2012’s broken-home sibling drama “The Tears,” which won Best First Work at the 2013 Havana Festival. The story of a deep bonding between a housekeeper and middle-aged American alcoholic, set in a seen-better-times Acapulco Bay, it is produced by Gabriel Ridaura at Cinematográfica Panorama and Eva Ruiz de Chavez at L.A.’s Entertainment Visual Artist who have now created a joint production company. “The story tries to find light in the darkness, portraying a series of characters who, in the face of adversity, won’t stop looking for options to move on,” they say.
‘AMERICA ARMADA’ (Pedro Asbeg, Alice Lanari, Brazil) A doc-feature revealing the interaction of private security forces across Latin America.
‘ANCLA 5’ (Hector Salgado, Chile) A Chile-U.S. fiction-documentary about the true story of loyalty, duty and kindness in the final 72-hours before three young Chileans are executed by a firing squad in 1973 Chile.
‘AMONG THE TREES’ (Felipe Rios, Chile) An eco twist to an ‘E.T.” scenario, as two children befriend a magical creature forced out of its woods by deforestation. Billed as a coming-of-age story of love and loyalty.
‘AVANZARE TAN DESPACIO (QUE TE PARECERA QUE RETROCEDO)’ (Natalia Solorzano, Costa Rica) An observational doc, from Natalia Solorzano, a programer at the Costa Rica Intl. Film Festival, on queues at government’s migration offices, the personal in an impersonal scenario.
‘BOAT ROWER’ (Sabrina Blanco, Argentina) A riverside coming-of-age tale from “Future Perfect” producers Murillo Cine in Argentina; presented at Mar del Plata’s Lobolab in November.
‘CANDELA’ (Andrés Farías, Dominican Republic) Three lives intertwine on the eve of a hurricane after the murder of a poet and drug dealer. A Santo Domingo drama developing a Caribe Pop aesthetic. Attracting buzz in the build-up to Guadalajara.
‘CINE MARROCOS’ (Ricardo Calil, Brazil) Journalist-cineaste Calil’s portrait of Sao Paolo’s Cine Marrocos, once among the most luxurious in Latin America, from 2013 a home for the Sem-Teto help-the-homeless movement.
‘CORDILLERA’ (Patricio Guzman, Chile) From 1973’s cine verité “The Battle of Chile,” Guzman has explored a cinema which turns on memory, the past and the preservation of collective memory. He has already shown in “The Pearl Button” an ability to produce powerful images of the Andes. Both 2010’s “Nostalgia For the Light” and “The Pearl Button” have sold widely, making this one of the most notable of projects at the Co-Production Meeting.
‘THE COUNTRY OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS’ (José Morales Ferulli, Guatemala) Documentary on a man’s new life in Guatemala, having been deported back to his native country where nobody remembers him, after 25 years in the U.S.
‘DARK ROOM’ (Federico Duran, Colombia) The first turn behind the cameras for Colombia’s Federico Duran, producer at Rhayuela of the Wild Bunch-sold “El Paramo,” displaying the Bogota-based company’s hallmark social-issue genre mix: a psycho thriller about high-school vengeance, which is mistaken for a kidnapping.
‘ENTIERRO’ (Maura Morales Bergmann, Italy, Chile) Documentary directorial debut of Chilean camera operator on Alicia Scherson’s “The Future.” Described as a journey following a Chilean artist who is lost in her past.
‘THE FALSE PROPHET’ (David Herrera, Colombia, Mexico, Palestine, Israel) A political thriller about a journalist who sets out to become a neo-fascist populist leader in order to avert a coup. Multi-lateral backing and a good buzz.
‘FINDING THE WEREWOLF’ (Rodrigo Iturralde, Georgina Gonzalez Rodriguez, Mexico) Described as one of 100 werewolves on earth, a Mexican immigrant in the U.S. whose body is covered in hair battles for a green card. A documentary about a double ostracism.
‘FISHGIRL’ (Javier Cutrona, Ecuador) Fantasy-laced drama about a 20-year-old pregnant girl trying to break free from a tragic past, and return to the coast from Quito. Dark Films’ Andrea Moyano produces.
‘HELLO, MY FRIEND’ (Bettina Blümner, Germany) To be filmed with cell phones, billed as a coming-of-age tale but also a probing story about tourism plus foreigners’ take on Latin America. Three students travel to Cuba to investigate the disappearance of a brother. But all of them have a desire-driven agenda. Winner of a Wim Wenders Grant from the North Rhine-Westphalia film fund.
‘THE HUMIDITY OF THE DESERT’ (Felipe G. Arancibia, Chile) Latest doc project from Arancibia (“Unfinished Plan: The Path of Alain Johannes”), about U2 visual concept designer designer Rene Castro, acclaimed in the U.S., a country he hated, living in hiding in Chile, which he prefers but never appreciated him.
‘ISAAC’ (Ángeles Hernández, David Matamoros, Spain) Surrogate motherhood drama co-directed by Matamoros, head of Zentropa Spain (“Vulcania”).
‘MAGNIFICO’ (Jose Luis Isoard, Mexico) Mexican Isoard’s expansion on his short “Magnifico,” about a down-on-his-luck Mexican actor, with one last shot at fame, this time in Hollywood.
‘MAKO Y EL PUEBLO DE LA MIEL’ (Felipe Esquivel, México) First animated feature from Mexico-based Esquivel, about a boy who discovers the identity of his people.
‘MALAMBO KING’ (Juan Pablo Felix, Argentina) A big-winner at San Sebastian’s Co-Production Forum last September, scooping the first Efads-Caci Europe-Latin America Co-Production Grant, worth $22,000, given by the powerful associations of European and Latin American public film agencies. A road-movie and father-daughter family drama, with already strong backing: Veronica Cura’s Utopia Group in Argentina, Santiago Segura’s Bowfinger Intl. Pictures in Spain, and France’s Melocoton Film
‘MAN BETWEEN DOG AND WOLF’ (Irene Gutierrez, Spain, Cuba, Chile) Account of five Angola’s War vets now holing up in Cuba’s Sierra Maestra, ignoring change in the island and once more preparing for battle. As the synopsis says: the last of the Cuban Revolution’s sumarais.
‘MILADIES’ (Mykaela Plotkin, Brazil) An upright grandmother begins to let her hair down and experience unrealized desires, some sexual, when a friend from youth re-enters her life.
‘MUSTARD SEEDS’ (Hari Sama, Mexico) Six defining moments in six decades in six stories of love, magic and death, all taking place in the same building. From musician-director Sama (“Sin ton ni Sonia”).
‘NUDO MIXTECO’ (Angeles Cruz, Mexico)The first production set up by Cruz, Lucia Carreras and Lola Ovando at their joint production venture, Madre Cine, a criss-crossing three story movie turning around three indigenous women’s travails. Pic will be actress Cruz’s feature directorial debut after shorts such as “La Tirisia” y “La carta” and stars Dolores Heredia and Noé Hernández.
‘THE RULES OF THE BOXER’ (Fernando Musa, Argentina) A young boxer falls for his coach’s daughter.
‘THE SADDEST GOAL’ (Sergio Castro San Martin, Chile) A Guadalajara Co-Production Meeting prize winner at August’s Sanfic Industry, the third movie from Castro San Martin whose “The Mud Woman” played the Berlinale’s 2015 Forum. The chronicle of the attempts of Chile’s soccer team to qualify for the 1974 World Cup, despite a coup d’etat. Macarena Lopez produces for Manufactura de Peliculas (“Rara”).
‘A SHADELESS MAN’ (Ignacio Márquez, Venezuela) Second feature project from Marquez (“Ley de fuga”), about a Down syndrome sufferer’s struggle to be treated like an adult.
‘SHOCK LABOR’ (Marcos Díaz Sosa, Cuba) A special mention winner at last month’s Berlinale VFF Talent Highlight Award for producer María Carla del Río. Set in 1988, a Cuban female skeet shooter becomes a celebrity but prefers the simple life on a farm.
‘TODAS LAS HORAS DEL DÍA’ (Enrique René Mencía Medrano, Honduras) A mother searches for her son’s murderer.
‘VIOLENT BUTTERFLIES’ (Adolfo Davila, Mexico) Fiction feature from Mexican video and film director. A take on Mexico’s rebellious youth.
’THE WHITE DEVIL’ (Ignacio Rodgers, Argentina, Brazil) Starring Dolores Fonzi (“Paulina”), Argentine actor-turned-director Rodgers’ feature debut, set up at Juan Pablo Gugliotta and Nathalia Videla Peña’s Buenos Aires-based Magma Cine (“El Ardor,” “I Thought It Was a Party”), “The White Devil” joins an increasingly large cannon of Latin American auteur genre works and looks to be building co-production support from around the region.