Ventana Sur’s Blood Window has become one of Latin America’s most important launchpads for fantasy genre films. For the four days of the market, producers, distributors, sales agents and directors will come together for panels, debates, co-production meetings and pitching sessions.
This year’s works in progress selections have been divided into two groups. The first group is the Screenings and Work in Progress section, which was specially curated by José Luis Rebordinos, director of the San Sebastian Film Festival. The remaining works in progress are in the Video Room section.
Starting with the local fare, “Luciferina,” is the only Argentine work in progress at this year’s Blood Window. From director Gonzalo Calzada, the film is the story of Natalia, a teenage girl with a supernatural gift. After a family trauma, the origins of her ability must be faced, and a ritual executed to protect the girl from something which has been with her since birth. The film will premiere Feb. 22 and is looking for international distributors.
The country best represented among this year’s Work in Progress is Mexico, with a tally of four projects. Chava Cartas’ “The Tenants,” turns on a couple who move to an old neighborhood in an attempt to escape a past trauma. Try as they might, mysterious circumstances strain the relationship and new adversities arise. Mexican distribution for the film is being handled by Videocine. Mexico teams up with Venezuela for Gisberg Bermúdez’s “The Whistler: Origins.” A possession thriller, the film takes place in both the past and present as a specter and its legend loom over a small Latin American town. After taking part at Impulso Morelia, Mexico’s “Feral,” will now screen at Blood Window. Director Andrés Kaiser’s film is a found-footage tale of a dismissed monk who secludes himself in a solitary cabin in the woods where he attempts to socialize three feral children found under dubious circumstances. And, Mexico’s fourth entry. “Tania y Daniela,” turns on a playful spouse-swap turned tragic when one of the couple meets a grizzly fate.
Uruguay brings two films to the party. The first, producer-director Santiago Ventura’s sophomore feature “Grey in the Eyes,” is a post-apocalyptic thriller wherein a 12 year old girl accidentally ends up with a briefcase full of a highly sought-after substance which allows its users to briefly see colors. The country’s second submission comes from director Juan Ignacio Monteverdi. In “Hasta Caer,” three lovely ladies meet three boys, but any familial hunches dissipate quickly as the group is thrown into turmoil after a death.
Brazil’s solo entry is Rodrigo Aragão’s “Black Forest.” And, while its not always a piece of cake for a Portuguese-language film to succeed in the rest of Latin America, with his blood-soaked style, Aragão has been winning over audiences across South America for nearly a decade. His latest is the tale of a mysterious book which bestows great power and wealth to whoever posses it, but is also capable of releasing a great evil into the world.
From Chile, Jose Miguel brings his haunted thriller “Against the Devil,” in which a dedicated mother suffers the loss of one child and the hellish possession of another. A local priest is summoned to help, but the holy man hides a secret.
Simon Hernández goes meta in his Colombian entry “Jairo’s Revenge,” with a story of a B-movie director who returns after years of obscurity to make the country’s first 3D horror movie, before his life turns into its own hell.
Ventana Sur’s and Blood Window run Nov. 27- Dec. 1
WORK IN PROGRESS SCREENINGS
“Ojos Grises” (Santiago Ventura, Uruguay)
“Luciferina” (Gonzalo Calzada, Argentina)
“The Tenants” (Chava Cartas, Mexico)
“Tania y Daniela” (Salomon Askenazi, Mexico)
“Black Forest” (Rodrigo Aragão, Brazil)
“Against the Devil” (Jose Miguel Zuñiga, Chile)
“Jairo’s Revenge” (Simon Hernández, Colombia)
“The Whistler: Origins” (Gisberg Bermúdez Molero, Venezuela, Mexico)
“Hasta Caer” (Juan Ignacio Monteverdi, Uruguay)
“Feral” (Andrés Kaiser, Mexico)