Latin pics make le trek to Toulouse

Movies from Chile and Uruguay vie for completion coin

MADRID — Suggesting an emerging film-making vibrancy in smaller Latin American countries, the Toulouse Rencontres Cinemas d’Amerique Latine and the San Sebastian Intl. Film Festival have selected two films from Chile and one from Uruguay for their seventh Films in Progress season.

Films in Progress was launched in 2001 as a joint initiative between the San Sebastian and Toulouse events. A twice-yearly event it presents rough cuts of films in post-production that require completion financing.

Seven titles play at the next screenings, which take place in Toulouse March 17-18. They underscore the artistic freedom given to film-makers by often micro-budgets. If you’re looking for the bizarre, laid-back, quietly radical, elliptically allegorical or just plain weird, Latin American film-making is where they’re at.

In Alfonso Gazitua’s bitter-sweet romancer “El rey de San Gregorio,” a handicapped couple try to get it together despite family opposition; also from Chile, Sebastian Campos’ beach-set “La Sagrada Familia,” an ironic look at middle-class-mores.

Produced by Fernando Epstein (“Whisky”) Uruguayan Manuel Nieto’s “La Perrera” (The Dog Pound) is a downbeat tale of small spa-life.

Mexican Amat Escalante, a former assistant director to Carlos Reygadas (“Japon”), charts simmering violence beneath a couple’s domestic ennui in “Sangre.”

The Screenings are rounded out by Argentine Luis Ortega’s symbolic “Monobloc,” where three women friends forestall their deaths by living in a broken-down funfair, and Francisco Vargas’ alternative actioner, “El Violin,” turns on an aged one-armed violin player come guerrilla munition-runner.

Top Spanish post prod cos – Estudios Exa, Kodak, La Luna Titra, Molinare, No Problem Sonido, RF Sonido and Technicolor -took all rights to Spain and France on Films in Progress 6 winner, “Iluminados por el Fuego” (Enlightened by Fire) in return for completing post on the film, about the psychological effects of Falklands War on ex-combattants. Any profits from the deal will be ploughed into a Films in Progress fund.

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