Ranging from pics already creating noise to those in the planning stages, these 10 films are generating the most buzz in Mexico and several are on their way to Guadalajara, Cannes and beyond.
Director: Pablo Larrain
Production: Fabula (Chile), Canana Films (Mexico), Autentika Films (Germany)
Cast: Alfredo Castro, Antonia Zegers, Amparo Noguera
Logline: Against the background of Augusto Pinochet’s bloody 1973 coup, a coroner’s assistant becomes obsessed with a washed-up showgirl.
Why care: Rave reviews and 13 territory sales and counting for Venice Competition player “Post Mortem” consolidate Larrain’s status as a South American director with a voice, a formal vigor and a market.
Sales: Funny Balloons
“Alicia, Go Yonder” (Vete más lejos, Alicia)
Director: Elisa Miller
Production: Cine Pantera (Mexico)
Cast: Sofia Espinosa, Martin Piroyansky, Sofia Palomino
Logline: An impromptu trip that takes a young woman to far-off Patagonia transforms into an emotional quest to find her place in the universe.
Why care: First feature from Miller, who won Cannes’ Palme d’Or for her 2006 short “Watching It Rain”; pic garnered some raves at Rotterdam.
Sales: Funny Balloons
“Days Of Grace” (Dias de gracia)
Director: Everardo Gout
Production: Arte Mecanica Producciones (Mexico), Casa B Prods. (U.S.), ARP Selection (France)
Cast: Tenoch Huerta, Kristian Ferrer, Dolores Heredia, Carlos Bardem,
Logline: A chronicle of three kidnappings during three World Cups — 2002, 2006 and 2010 — drama is told from the p.o.v. of a cop, a victim and another hostage’s wife.
Why care: Reportedly great visuals combine with a hot-button-issue, powerful sales agent, pre-sales to Artificial Eye (U.K.) and Icon (Australia). It’s ready for Cannes.
“The Cinema Hold Up” (Asalto al cine)
Director: Iria Gomez Concheiro
Production: Ciudad Cinema, Mil Nubes Cine (Mexico)
Cast: Gabino Rodriguez, Juan Pablo de Santiago, Angel Sosa, Paulina Avalos, Dolores Heredia, Juan Manuel Bernal
Logline: A quartet of kids from Mexico City’s tough Guerrero neighborhood plan a heist in this hip-hop-flavored thriller.
Why care: Having bowed at Sundance, pic established Gomez as new Mexican directorial voice; early hype may help in Guadalajara fiction competition.
Sales: Shoreline Ent.
Director: Amat Escalante
Production: Mantarraya Producciones (Mexico)
Logline: A young man navigates small-town corruption while searching for his missing father.
Why care: Script won Sundance/NHK prize in 2010, beating out Rodrigo Pla and Uruguay’s Manuel Nieto. Though still young, Escalante’s first two pics — “Sangre,” “The Bastards” — both played Cannes’ Un Certain Regard to select critical acclaim.
“The Mural” (El Mural)
Director: Hector Olivera
Production: Alebrije Cine y Video (Mexico), Aries Cinematografica (Argentina).
Cast: Bruno Bichir, Luis Machin, Ana Celentano, Carla Peterson, Sergio Boris, Juan Palomino
Logline: Pic details trip to Argentina by Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros in the 1930s and heated political controversy over his attempt to paint a mural on Argentina’s revolution for independence.
Why care: Bowing May 8 in Mexico, “Mural” teams one of Mexico’s top producers, Monica Lozano, with esteemed Argentine vet Olivera.
“The Room” (La Habitacion)
Directors: Eight-way omnibus, four established helmers (Carlos Bolado, Patricia Arriaga, +2 TBC) and four young upstarts (Alejandro Valle, Ivan Avila Duenas, Alfonso Pineda Ulloa, Celso Garcia)
Production: Machete Producciones (Mexico)
Cast: Jose Maria Yazpik and Daniel Gimenez Cacho are part of a rather large cast that is still being negotiated.
Logline: Eight tales unfold in the same room in Mexico City told in the course of the last 100 years.
Why care: Besides a stable of well-known actors and directors, Michael Rowe’s Cannes 2010 Camera d’Or win for “Leap Year” has made Machete red-hot.
“The Wait” (La Demora)
Director: Rodrigo Pla
Production: Cine Pantera (Mexico), Malbicho Cine (Uruguay), Memento Films Production (France)
Cast: Carlos Vallarino, Roxana Blanco
Logline: At a breaking point, Maria leaves her feeble father in a public square, freeing her burden.
Why care: With Pantera’s Christian Valdelievre’s on board, Pla’s latest outing could see strong territory sales.
“The Prize” (El Premio)
Director: Paula Markovitch
Production: Kung Works, IZ Films (Mexico), Mille et Une Productions (France), Staron Film (Poland) and Niko Film (Germany)
Cast: Paula Galinelli Hertzog, Sharon Herrera, Laura Agorreca, Viviana Suraniti, Uriel Iasillo.
Logline: A family goes into hiding during Argentina’s Dirty War; told from the p.o.v. of a 7-year-old girl.
Why care: Backed by U Media, pic comes to Guadalajara with two Silver Bears in tow.
Sales: U Media
“The Short And Precocious Life Of Sabina Rivas” (La Vida Precoz Y Breve De Sabina Rivas)
Director: Luis Mandoki
Production: Videocine (Mexico)
Cast: Greisy Mena, Joaquin Cosio
Logline: Based on a bestselling novel, pic spins love story amidst twin horrors of violence and migration on the Guatemala-Mexican border.
Why care: Deep-pocketed Televisa’s film arm Videocine is giving “Life” solid backing with Hollywood veteran helmer Mandoki in place. Filmmakers are intent on bowing at Cannes in 2012.
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