Pix-in-post competition titles paint a portrait of world of change and dislocation
MADRID — Three awaited Latin American films – Aly Muritiba’s “Ferrugem,” Armando Capos’ “Agosto” and Ruben Mendoza’s “Niña Errante” – feature at a six-title 2017 San Sebastián Films in Progress, one of the best-attended of pix-in-post competitions in the Spanish-speaking world.
Organized with the Toulouse Cinelatino Festival, Films in Progress this year also adds a prize from one of the biggest sales agents in the region, a Film Factory Prize consisting of the offer of a €30,000-€40,000 ($33,000-$44,000) minimum guarantee for sales rights to one of the titles in the section.
The San Sebastián Films in Progress runs Sept. 25-27.
Three other titles – Nicolas Buenaventura’s “Kairos,” Maria Alche’s “Immersed Family” and Leandro Leal’s “Rodantes” – make up a section in which Brazil has a prominent presence, fruit of its government’s forceful backing for art films via Ancine, and five of the six titles are international co-productions, including three with France, as Latin American movies become ever more part of a global arthouse movie industry.
Their films also address global themes. However specific their setting, nearly all the titles portray a fast-changing, unstable world of physical transformation (“Niña errante,” “Agosto”) or dislocation, whether personal (“Immersed Family”) or social (“Rodantes”), in which Internet has revolutionized social and sexual relations, and even ideas of self-respect (“Ferrugem”).
Anticipated, “Ferrugem” marks the second feature, after “To My Beloved,”of one of Brazil’s most courted young directors, Aly Muritiba, who has “Blood-Drenched Beard,” an identity drama/mystery thriller, set up at RT Features. Already currying Internet buzz, “Ferrugem” depicts one dramatic case of high-school sexting and its consequences, in a world where, Muritba has said, the young are not ready to deal with negative images of themselves.
Produced by Marcela Esquivel at Costa Rica’s La Feria Producciones, Cuban Armando Capo’s “August,” which won him Sundance’s 2017 Global Filmmaker Award, is a coming-of-age-tale set in a 1994 Cuba wracked by food and energy shortages and escapee rafters. “Agosto” also took the Egeda Prize at San Sebastian’s 2014 Europe-Latin America Co-production Forum.
Colombian Ruben Mendoza’s third feature, after 2014 “Dust in the Tongue,” “Nuña Errante” weighs in as a physical coming-of-age tale as a 12-year—old girl, just orphaned, discovers her awakening sensuality in the company of her half-sisters, when they share a roadside hotel room.
Maria Alche’s “Immersed Family” is another woman’s drama, here about a woman in her mid-50s whose life is turned upside down by the death of her sister. It is lead produced by Pasto Cine’s Barbara Francisco, co-producer of Santiago Mitre’s “The Student,” and co-produced by Brazil’s Bubbles Project.
Brazilian Leandro Lara’s “Rodantes” turns on three characters – a Haitian widower, an adolescent, a girl from Sao Paulo – in a process of transformation.
The second feature of Colombia’s Nicolas Buenaventura (“La Deuda”), but financed mostly out of France, “Kairos” is a bank heist thriller, in which a laid-off employee seizes the moment to get his own back on the bank that has sacked him. Audiences will surely be on his side.
SAN SEBASTIAN 2017 FILMS IN PROGRESS
“Agosto,” (Armando Capos, Cuba, Costa Rica, France)
“Ferrugem,” (Aly Muritiba, Brazil)
“Kairos,” (Nicolas Buenaventura, France, Colombia)
“Immersed Family,” Maria Alche (Argentina, Brazil, Germany)
“Niña errante,” (Ruben Mendoza, Colombia, France)
“Rodantes,” (Leandro Lara, Brazil, U.S.)