Ventana Sur Opens Shop for Latin American Film and TV

Ventana Sur, by far Latin America’s biggest movie-TV market, unspools its ninth edition over Nov. 27 through Dec. 1. Here are seven key points about this year’s market for visitors:

The big titles
Are foreign markets, like Hollywood, now suffering from a high-end TV diaspora? As more big-name foreign-language directors and actors are swallowed up by high-end TV, the number of big high-profile Latin American movies coming to the market may not increase. Several will be talked up or shooting during Ventana Sur, however: Pablo Trapero’s “La Quietud,” a sisters’ drama with Bérénice Bejo and Martina Gusmán; “You Shall Not Sleep,” from “Casa Muda’s” Gustavo Hernández, a Fox pick-up for U.S. and Latin America; and Ricardo Darin’s “Love at Last Chance,” a second-chance romance. One more big Argentine title may well be added to the mix before Ventana Sur.

Firing on multiple cylinders
Launched in 2009, Ventana Sur was first a sales market for Latin American films, and soon a co-production meet, as hundreds of young Latin American producers descended on the event to find production partners in and outside the region. Ventana Sur now fires on multiple cylinders: Movies, genre, TV, animation and VR. “The locomotive is clearly the Latin America feature films, with its Blood Window [genre]component, but the sidebars — European screenings, Trends, Animation!, TV — bring new participants and enlarge the network and possibilities of encounters,” says Cannes Film Market’s Jerome Paillard, Ventana Sur co-director with Bernardo Bergeret, head of international affairs at Argentina’s Incaa film-TV agency.

Primer Corte and Copia 0
Ventana Sur’s heart, for sales agent and distrib attendance, remains its Primer Corte and Copia 0 pix-in-post showcases. Of its titles, there’s great buzz on Lila Avilés’ “The Chambermaid,” a drama on women’s search for sense of self; and large curiosity about gritty Peru Callao port-set “We’re All Sailors,” from Cannes Cinefondation alum Miguel Angel Moulet. There’s good word, too, on Dominican “Miriam Miente” and Chile’s out-there “Perros sin cola.”

Lumiere with Thierry Fremaux
On a whistle-stop road-trip, Thierry Fremaux, director of the Institut Lumiere and of the Cannes film fest, will present and voice over to a live audience (and in Spanish) “Lumiére!” The collection of restored Lumiére shorts from classics to unknown includes the world’s first movie seen by a paying audience and is a telling record of a vibrant Belle Epoque.

Who’s who TV lineup
As series shorten, and OTT blooms, and Viacom has acquired Telefe, one of the growth drivers of the Latin American new TV wave is “investments and co-productions from international groups,” says Bertrand Villegas, co-founder of the Wit research agency. Many — HBO, Fox, Sony, Disney, Viacom (via Telefe), and Time Warner’s TNT — will meet at Ventana Sur’s TV-based Fiction Factory to network with local producers. The lineup, if like 2016’s Who’s Who of Latin American TV companies, will be impressive.

Animation! fires up
Ventana Sur’s Animation!, its toon focus, is helping to drive its dramatic growth. Juan José Campanella (“Escape to India”) and Walter Salles (“Noah’s Ark”), two of Latin America’s biggest directors, produce pitched projects; the section has added a work-in-progress showcase; some titles segue to Annecy. Another project, “Grimalkin,” is from the makers of “Un gallo con mucho huevos,” the sixth-highest-grossing foreign-language release in the U.S. since 2013. Ventana Sur unspools as another Latin American animated feature, “Condorito,” topped B.O. charts over October in Peru, Chile and Colombia, beating the best of Hollywood. Given Latin America’s family-based audience mix, and even an Andean animation school, animation has large potential in the region.

There Will Be Blood
Grossing $683 million worldwide, “It” is directed by an Argentine, Andy Muschietti. Latin American genre, like animation, is a push phenomenon, embraced by new generation of Latino moviemakers. Blood Window, Ventana Sur’s genre division, bows this year with a new prize — the Best Latin American Fantastic Film of the Year Award, to be awarded by the European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation — and a clutch of anticipated projects which see women directing chillers (such as “El Muglar,” from Emmy-nominated writer-director Lucila Las Heras), and the ramp-up, as in France, of low-fi sci-fi, such as Spaniard David Casademunt’s “The Beast,” a virtual reality horror-thriller.

Highlights

Primer Corte
“Buenaventura Mon Amour”
Director: Jorge Navas

“The Chambermaid”
Director: Lila Avilés

“Miriam miente”
Director: Natalia Cabral, Oriol Estrada

“Perros sin cola”
Director: Carolina Quezada

“We’re All Sailors”
Director: Miguel Angel Moulet

Copia 0
“Dry Martina”
Director: Ché Sandoval

“Guerra de algodão”
Director: Marília Hugues, Cláudio Marques

“La Negrada”
Director: Jorge Pérez Solano

“Magalí”
Director: Juan Pablo Di Bitonto

“Los últimos románticos”
Director: Gabriel Drak

“Yo, imposible”
Director: Patricia Ortega

Animation!
“City of Pirates”
Director: Otto Guerra

“Here Comes the Grump”
Director: Andrés Couturier

“Dalia and the Red Book”
Director: David Bisbano

“Koati, the Movie”
Director: Rodrigo Pérez Castro

Blood Window
“Friendly Beast”
Director: Gabriela Almeida

“Good Manners”
Director: Marco Dutra, Juliana Rojas

“The Sacrifice”
Director: Jaime Osorio

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