MICA: Upstart Mexico City Market Looks to Impact With High-End TV, Impressive Docs and Female-Led Fiction

Eschewing any possibility of a sophomore slump, Mexico City's MICA market kicks off Thursday

This week, organized by the Imcine Mexican Film-TV Institute, Mexico City’s Mercado Industria Cine y Audiovisual in Mexico City is set to showcase a number of standout film and TV projects from Mexico and beyond. The festivities kicked off on Wednesday with the 4thFénix Ibero-American Film and TV awards.

The MICA market will be playing catch-up with larger Latin American markets like Ventana Sur for some time, but it looks set to prove an arresting display for the rapidly growing gallery of higher end TV projects produced by top production companies in Mexico and aimed at international co-production partners or distribution. At one in the same time, this year’s MICA market attests to the strength of Mexico’s modern documentary tradition and to the spiraling presence of women in its industry and lead creative roles.

FÉNIX AWARDS LIGHT THE WEEKEND’S FUSE

Wednesday night marked the 4th Fénix Awards. Actress Norma Aleandro (“Son of the Bride”) who was nominated by the Argentine Academy, will receive this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award for her extensive work in both film and TV.

NETFLIX OPENS UP

The digital platform king of the ring kicks off this year’s series of conferences with a Thursday afternoon key-note round table titled, “Coincidences between narratives and creation of films and series.” The event will be moderated by Netflix’s Diego Ávalos and features a bevy of Latin American talent. Included in the discussion will be; Gaz Alazraki, writer, director and producer of two of Mexico’s biggest successes: Movie “We are the Nobles,” and Netflix TV series “Club of Crows”; Mexican director Manolo Caro whose next project, a dark comedy and Netflix original, was announced in January; Storylab’s Nacho Viale in Argentina – producer of Netflix-released “Stockholm”; and Mariela Besuievsky, representing Spain’s Tornasol Films.

LATIN AMERICAN TV IS REALLY, REALLY EXCITING

Not taking away anything from the film projects set to pitch this week, the real heat at MICA seems to be in the TV series going to market. High-end production values, and an influx of talent from cinema and digital distribution have been driving factors behind the recent international successes of many Latin American series. What look like a number of exciting series will be represented at this year’s market including: a dramatized look at assisted suicide, “Cobardes,” produced by Mantarraya; Film Tank’s “”Dead Days,” a high-concept forensic crime drama that grows exponentially in scope; “La amenaza,” an everyman-turned-superhero revenge drama from Ring Cine; Pimienta Films’ “Monstruos perfectos,” a story of cruelty and resentment set on the streets of Chihuahua; and Panorama Global’s body-swapping “Vidas extrañas.”

WHO RUN THE WORLD? GIRLS

Queen Bey probably wasn’t forecasting the most exciting Latin American filmmakers at MICA, but she might as well have been considering the quantity and quality of female-helmed films in its Development and Work in Progress sections.

Mariana Chenillo is no newcomer to the Latin American award scene. Her 2008 debut feature, “Nora’s Will,” scored wins at Miami, Mar del Plata and Morelia. Chenillo brings to MICA her latest project in development, “Guía para el viajero que no quiere preguntar,” the story of a man who must fight for compensation after a faulty airbag causes him to go blind.

Tatiana Huezo is no slouch either, coming off a 2016 where her documentary “Tempestad” won prizes at Camerimage and the Fénix Awards and now is Mexico’s Academy Awards submission. This year, she is pitching “Noche de Fuego,” a story of a group of girls living in violence ravaged Mexico.

In addition to directing for the previously mentioned TV series, “Vidas extrañas,” Katina Medina Mora will present her fiction feature, “Desarrollo,” the tale of a woman in New York who must reconcile her current life and her pre-transition childhood, when she was a boy named Victor.

MICA kicks off on Thursday Dec. 7 and runs through Sunday Dec. 10.

FEATURE PROJECTS IN DEVELOPMENT

“Guía para el viajero que no quiere preguntar” (Mariana Chenillo Alazraki, Mexico)

“El sonido que trajo el mar” (Ussiel Madera Ferragut, Mexico)

“La contención” (Jack Zagha, Mexico, Canada)

“La cuenca de los ríos de piedra” (Pablo Benjamín Nieto Mercado, Mexico)

“La otra isla” (Joe Torres, Venezuela)

“Las espigas rotas” (Wanadi Siso Venezuela, Mexico, USA, Peru, Norway)

“Mandoble” (Daniel Benavides Cornejo, Ecuador)

“Marta” (Irma Saucedo González, Puerto Rico, USA)

“Memorias del subsuelo” (Andrés Dunayevich, Argentina, Brazil)

“Noche de fuego” (Tatiana Huezo, Mexico)

“Ojos que no ven” (Alfonso Zárate Santos, Mexico)

“Perros en la Antártida” (Marcel Rasquin Venezuela, Canada)

“Primigenios” (Gabriel Serra Arguello, Costa Rica, Nicaragua)

“Puro sentimiento” (Gretel Medina, Cuba)

“Salvando a mi amigo imaginario” (Gabriel Doramé Ceceña, Mexico)

“Seis días de pasión, un día de gloria” (Manuel Andrade Gorab, Mexico, U.K., USA, Spain)

“Temple” (Lucia Gajá, Mexico)

“Detective” (Diego Enrique Osorno, Mexico)

“La manzana” (Katina Medina Mora, Mexico)

“Las cartas de Lucía” (Brenda Esmeralda Venegas, El Salvador)

SERIES

“Cazadores de agua” (Zebra Studio, Mexico)

“Chanoc” (Nuevo Cinema Latino, Mexico)

“Cobardes” (Mantarraya, Mexico)

“Dead Days” (Film Tank, Mexico, USA)

“Emperadores” (Soft Computing, Mexico, Belgium, Italy)

“Favor de no molestar” (Cinema Máquina, Mexico)

“La amenaza roja” (Ring Cine, Mexico)

“La cuarta espada” (Santiago Roncagliolo, Peru)

“Monstruos perfectos” (Pimienta Films, Mexico)

“Moonu” (Fotosíntesis Media, Mexico)

“Trypto” (Galante Producciones, Mexico)

“Vidas extrañas” ( Panorama Global, Mexico)

WORK IN PROGRESS

“A morir en los desiertos” (Martha Ferrer Carné, Mexico)

“Yesterday Wonder I Was” (Gabriel Mariño , Mexico)

“Detrás de la montaña” (David R. Romay, Mexico)

“Just met” (Fernanda Romandía, Japan, Mexico)

“La candidata” (Emil Guevará Malavé, Ronald Rivas Casallas, Venezuela)

“La negrada” (Jorge Pérez Solano, Mexico)

“La perla de Marina” (Daniela Alatorre, Mexico)

“Midnight Family” (Luke Lorentzen, Mexico)

“Notas para no olvidar” (Hatuey Viveros, Cuba)

“Sex Panchitos Punk” (Gustavo Gamou, Mexico)

“Todo en juego” (Alfredo Marrón, Mexico)

“Traición” (Ignacio Ortíz Cruz, Mexico)

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