‘La Camarista,’ ‘Buenaventura, Mon Amour’ ‘We Are All Sailors’ Top Ventana Sur’s Primer Corte

‘Confite,’ ‘Inzomnia,’ ‘Pueblo Chico,’ ‘Grimalkin’ among Animation! winners; ‘Good Manners’ takes European Fantastic Film Festival Award

BUENOS AIRES — Making good on predictions, Lila Avilés “La Camarista,” Jorge Navas’ “Buenaventura, Mon Amour (Somos calentura)” and Miguel Angel Moulet’s “We Are All Sailors” all took two prizes a piece at Ventana Sur’s Primer Corte, one of Latin America’s most prestigious pix-in-post competitions.

Announced Thursday night, the prizes made good on buzz on all three titles coming into Ventana Sur, Latin America’s biggest film market, which wraps Friday in Buenos Aires.

Meanwhile, Ventana Sur also announced awards in its Blood Window, Animation! and Trends sections, where projects and rough-cut productions received a dizzying slew of free-of-charge post-production service prizes and invitations to other events as Ventana Sur’s sections slotted into the international genre, animation and immersive reality festival-market calendar.

At Blood Window, two buzzed-up projects, “El Muglar” and “Eternal White,” won awards in the Beyond the Window co-production forum, while traumatized couple thriller “The Tenants,” from Mexico’s Chava Cartas and “Grey in the Eyes,” a post-apocalyptic thriller directed by Uruguay’s Santiago Ventura, pretty well cleaned up in Blood Window’s Work in Progress section.

Awards at Animation! were spread across much of the board. Among feature film project winners: “Confite,” from Argentina’s Juaco Garín and one the discoveries of this year’s Animation!, a movie which moves from idyllic 2D rural scenes to a more stressing girl-dog relationship tale; Mexican Sant Arellano’s “Grimalkin,” a triple twist on the haunted house set-up beloved of Mexican audiences: It’s animation, comedy and involves a home defending cat; all taking prizes; “Pueblo Chico,” from vet Walter Tournier, a project capturing the palette and melancholy of small town Uruguay.

The major takeaway from Animation! however, was that Latin American feature film production is building in a quantity of quality in a big way, Ventana Sur helping to establish the region as a rising power on the world’s toon scene.

In TV series, official Animation! prizes went to “Raise the Bar!” a stereotype-slipping tale of Sam, a female high-school student who wants to be an Olympics weight-lifter, from Chile’s Fernanda Frick (“Here’s the Plan”), and “What Would Jesus Do?” an irreverent sitcom fantasy from Colombia’s Julián David Hernández.

From a European viewpoint – and Europe remains a prime market for Latin American art fare – Avilés’ “La Camarista’ was the big winner at Primer Corte, snagging the European Vision Prize granted by, among others, a sales agent – Eric Schnedecker . and Bruno Deloye at Canal Plus’ Cine + whose acquisitions of French pay TV rights are a key to unlocking distribution in France.

Written and directed by actress-turned-director Avilés, the European Vision Prize went to a winningly grounded fiction film which treks after a chambermaid on her daily grind around Mexico City’s chicly wood-paneled Hotel Presidente Internacional. But is is also a story which many at Ventana Sur found touching of the search for identity of a person who seems invisible to some clients, is already a mother, but not yet her own person.

Directed and produced by Miguel Angel Moulet, who has described the film as “intimate and violent,” “We’re All Sailors,” a soulful romantic drama in its early stretches, turns on a Russian sailor stranded in Peru’s grey-skied El Callao port and suddenly given the chance to settle down on dry land.

Seen in a rough cut in a version which by general consensus could be tightened considerably, “Buenaventura Mon Amour” reportedly boasts stunning sequences of hip-hop group attempting to win a competition which would buy it a ticket out of the violent, drug-infested Colombian port of Buenaventura.

There was also an upbeat reaction to “Ella miente,” again judged overlong, as so many movies in rough-cut contests are, but a sweet reflection on latent racism in Dominican society.

The major challenge of Latin American genre is to emerge from a blood-drenched low-budget basement where the most that can be expected are sales to TV or DVD. It may be no coincidence then that two of the winning projects at “Beyond the Window,” Lucila Las Heras’ “The Muglur,” already winner of Blood Window’s 2017 First Feature competition, and Christoph Behl’s “The Eternal White,” go way beyond strict genre, Behl’s thriller emerging, for instance, as a social allegory for the social impact of big pharmaceutical companies.

Four of the 12 titles in Ventana Sur’s Ibero-American Immersive Projects Development Competition, part of its Trends focus, won plaudits: “Gloomy Tears,”  an Argentine animation VR short; Peru’s “Stage 3: Azaria,” a combat-based VR vidgame, and Paraguay’s 22-minute VR crime drama, “Opus VR,” which shared the Virtuality BR Award: and “Dinner Party,” a Puerto Rican, psychological  drama prized by Fernando Meirelles O2 Filmes

VENTANA SUR INDUSTRY PRIZES, 2017

PRIMER CORTE

EUROPEAN VISION PRIZE

“La Camarista” (Lila Avilés, Mexico)

LE FILM FRANÇAIS PRIZE

“La Camarista”

LATIN AMERICAN VISION PRIZES

HABANERO PRIZE

“Miriam miente,” (Natalia Cabral, Oriol Estrada, Dominican Republic, Spain)

SOFIA FILMS PRIZE

“We’re All Sailors,” (Miguel Angel Moulet, Peru)

NMF Y COLOR FRONT

“Buenaventura, Mon Amour (Somos calentura)” (Jorge Navas, Colombia, Argentina)

HD ARGENTINA PRIZE

“Buenaventura, Mon Amour (Somos calentura)” (Jorge Navas, Colombia, Argentina)

LAMAYOR CINEMA PRIZE

“We’re All Sailors,” (Miguel Angel Moulet, Peru)

KALIU CINEMA DIFFUSION PRIZES

“El despertar de las hormigas,” (Antonella Sudasassi, Costa Rica)

ANIMATION! AWARDS 2017

TV SERIES

“Raise the Bar!” (Fernanda Frick, Chile)

“What Would Jesus Do?” (Julián David Hernández Castillo, Colombia)

FEATURE FILMS

“Confite,” (Juaco Garin, Argentina)

“Grimalkin,” (Sant Arellano, Mexico)

“Small Town,” (Walter Tournier, Argentina)

OTHER PRIZES:

CARTOON CONNECTION (CANADA):

“Ray Trigger, Space Commander,” (Javier Salazar, Argentina)

QUIRINO AWARDS:

“Noah’s Ark,” (Sérgio Machado, Brazil)

FESTIVAL PIXELATL (MEXICO):

“Onion the Steak,” (Esteban Echeverría, Argentina)

 MIPCOM / MIPJR (FRANCE):

“The Adventures of Ugo and Serena, the Whale,” (Sebastián Mignogna, Argentina, Brazil, Peru)

“Inzomnia,” (Luis Téllez Ibarra, Mexico)

BRIDGING THE GAP – ANIMATION!

“The Adventures of Eloisa,” (Agustina Comedi, Ana Comes, Argentina)

BLOOD WINDOW

WORK IN PROGRESS:

LA MAYOR CINE AWARD:

“Ojos grises,” (Santiago Ventura, Uruguay)

SOFIA FILMS AWARD:

“Ojos grises”

CHEMISTRY AWARD:

“The Tenants,” (Chava Cartas, Mexico)

FULL DIMENSION ENTERNAINMENT AWARD:

“Mata Negra,” (Rodrigo Aragao, Brasil)

LABURO DIGITAL AWARD:

“Ojos grises”

MORBIDO FEST AWARD:

“The Tenants”

BEYOND THE WINDOW:

BIFAN AWARD:

“The Eternal White,” (Christoph Behl, Argentina, Brasil)

FILMARKET HUB AWARD:

“El Muglúr,” (Lucila Las Heras, Argentina, Mexico)

MORBIDO FEST AWARD:

“A música do día,” (M.M. Izidoro, Brasil)

TRENDS

VIRTUALITY PARIS AWARD:

“Gloomy Eyes,” (Argentina)

VIRTUALITY BUENOS AIRES AWARD:

“Stage 3: Azaria,” (Peru)

“Opus VR,” (Paraguay)

O2 FILMES AWARD:

“Dinner Party,” (Puerto Rico)

HONORABLE MENTION:

“Aulas vacías,” (Mexico)

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