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Ventana Sur: Blood Window Shows Maturation With Double Winner ‘The Muglur’

A gore-free, literature-based fantasy-thriller with a female director and executive producer taking home award signals that Latin America's premier genre showcase is continuing to grow in the right direction

Over the years, as Ventana Sur’s Blood Window has grown is size, it has also increased the range of content which is selected to participate. What started out as largely a celebration of the best in blood and guts has, over time, evolved into one of Latin America’s premiere platforms for the promotion of genre in all its forms.

In addition to classic murder-death-kill fare, recent editions have featured science fiction, psychological thrillers, who-dun-its and fantasy films.

One case in point: This year’s First Feature Blood Window competition award winner, which also won on Thuesday in Buenos Aires a Sitges Pitchbox Award, “The Muglur,” is a literature-themed, fantasy-thriller meant to appeal to a wide audience.

“(Winning the award) is a huge step, because we managed to secure 45% ($222,222) of our budget ($550,000). That opened the doors for us here in Ventana Sur,” director Lucila Las Heras told Variety.

The film is being produced by Buenos Aires-based Ñapango Producciones, who are at Ventana Sur looking for international co-producers. According to Las Heras the team has already held talks with companies in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, and are close to finalizing their initial deals.

“The Muglur,” is a cinematic portrayal of addiction and gender violence through the story of a young female writer, Aurora, who lives with her alcoholic, abusive father and uses writing as a means of escapism.

As a result of her tumultuous upbringing she suffers a severe lack of confidence which manifests as chronic writer’s block. One day at the library Aurora accidentally summons a mystical creature called the Muglur. The stoic beast gives the girl a newfound confidence and as a result her writing improves. Her life improves and all is well until Aurora realizes that the creature is slowly draining her of her emotions to sustain itself. In the end, to free herself from the monster, she must confront her father and his long-held secret.

“Fantasy is extremely important in every culture. It allows us to talk about monsters, not only the ones that do not exist, but also the ones that do,” explained Las Heras.

“The real monsters we fear in our lives, stories can portray them with fangs, fur, big teeth, or weird masks, so we recognize them better. That way, we can stand up, face them and realize we’re the ones that give them the strength to exist.”

The reflective nature of fantasy gives this film a particularly modern relevance. Las Heras explained: “The main selling point of the film, we’re told, is the combination of fantasy and realistic drama, and the way the story discusses the extremely sad reality of violence against women through a poetic allegory.”

And, in a genre that has traditionally been dominated by men, “The Muglur” promises to address these issues with a uniquely feminine voice. Another major step in the right direction for Blood Window.

“Myself and the producer, Ariana Spenza, are both women working together in this genre,” pointed out Las Helas, “which we’ve heard is not common. We hope our film encourages others.”
Filming for “The Muglur,” will take place in Buenos Aires and is set to begin in mid-2018.

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