‘Cage,’ ‘Holiday,’ and ‘Sciences’ Set For Primer Corte

Ventana Sur pix-in-post showcase underscores range of new talent Latin American film-making.

Three feature debuts – ‘Open Cage,’ ‘Natural Sciences’ and ‘Holiday’ – figure among Primer Corte’s six-pix-in-post line-up at this year’s Ventana Sur, Latin America’s biggest film market.

All are intimate tales charting characters’ seeking affective relationships and their place in the world, often against the background of social collapse. But how the directors approach these subjects says a lot for the ever-growing range of Latin American movie production.

“Every one of the directors has their own way of approaching their subjects. That’s one reason they were selected, ” said Cannes Cinefondation general manager Georges Goldenstern, who chose the final six-pic cut.

Many films talk about social reality, though it is sometimes a background that influences the characters, he added.
The best known, given its strong run at Mexican works in progress fest sections this year, Max Zunino’s Mexican feature “Open Cage” co-won Guadalajara Construye in March, then, screening slightly tightened, on Saturday received a jury special mention at the Los Cabos Baja Fest’s Works in Progress Mexico.

Written by Zunino and Sofia Espinosa, who also co-stars, “Open Cage” charts the troubled but growing relationship between a set-in-his-ways jobless 65-year-old (esteemed Mexico-based thesp Juan Carlos Colombo) and a young girl drifter (Espinosa) in a world of have-nots and indignados encamped outside their apartment block.

“Holiday,” from Ecuador’s Diego Araujo, a 1999-set coming of age tale, charts a 16-year-old boy’s confirmation of his sexual identity as Ecuador’s banking system and the boy’s family go to ruin. Backers include the Latin America Media Arts Fund of the Tribeca Film Institute.

Helmed by Argentine Matias Luchessi, whose 2009 short “Distancias” was admired at Bafici and Biarritz for its naturalistic observance of relationships, road movie “Sciences” charts a young girl’s odyssey to encounter her father.

The 5th Ventana Sur’s Primer Corte also features Uruguay’s “Portrait of an Animal Behavior,” “It’s No Vigil,” a Spain-Colombia co-production, and “Blue Lips,” produced out of Argentina and Spain.

Co-written and directed by Gonzalo Lugo and Florencia Colucci, the loopy road-trip romantic comedy “Portrait” co-stars Colucci, who put in a memorable lead turn in Gustavo Hernandez’s stylish slasher “La casa muda,” remade Stateside by “Open Waters’” Chris Kentis and Laura Lau.

Pic is interspersed by shots of animal behavior, to comic effect, Goldenstern said.

Hermes Paralluelo’s docu-feature “It’s No Vigil” won the Ibermedia DocsMex prize at DocsBarcelona 2013. It marks Paralluelo’s follow-up to “Yatasto,” the docu-chronicle of a dirt-poor family of garbage collectors that garnered glowing reviews in his native Argentina, “Vigil” chronicles the daily life, habits and fears of an elderly couple in a Colombia hospital and at home.

Also competing in Primer Corte, omnibus feature “Blue Lips” is a six-part, second-chance tale set against the background of the San Fermin bull runs in Pamplona Spain. Film’s six characters hail from around the world, as do its directors who each helm one character’s story. The helmers mostly met in Los Angeles while studying film in 2001: Argentina’s Daniela de Carlo and Julieta Lima, Brazil’s Gustavo Lipsztein, Italy’s Antonello Novelino, Spain’s Nacho Ruiperez and Peru’s Nobuo Shima. Many directors shot in the country they’re now based in, then, like their subjects, converged on Pamplona.

Ventana Sur runs Dec. 3-6.

“Blue Lips,” (Daniela de Carlo, Julieta Lima, Gustavo Lipsztein, Antonello Novellino, Nacho Ruiperez, Nobuo Shima, Argentina, Spain)
“Holiday,” (Diego Araujo, Ecuador-Argentina)
“Natural Sciences,” (Matias Luchessi, Argentina)
“It’s No Vigil,” (Hermes Paralluelo, Colombia)
“Open Cage,” (Max Zunino, Mexico)
“Portrait of an Animal Behavior,” (Gonzalo Lugo, Florencia Colucci, Uruguay)

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Finding Farideh

    Oscars: Iran Picks Doc 'Finding Farideh' As International Feature Film Contender

    “Finding Farideh,” a feature-length documentary about an Iranian girl adopted at infancy by a Dutch couple who 40 years later travels to Iran in search of her biological parents, is Iran’s candidate for the recently renamed International Feature Film Oscar. Co-directed by young Tehran-based duo Azadeh Mousavi and Kourosh Ataee, the doc bridges East and West. [...]

  • Dogs Don’t Wear Pants

    Buyers Catch Valkeapaa's ‘Dogs Don’t Wear Pants’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Rolling off its Cannes Directors’ Fortnight world bow, J.-P. Valkeapää’s BDSM movie “Dogs Don’t Wear Pants” has been sold by The Yellow Affair to new U.K. distributor Anti-Worlds for the U.K. and Ireland, as well as to The Klockworx Co for Japan, Ama Films for Greece, HHG for Russia/CIS, Pilot Film for the Czech Republic [...]

  • 'Kix,' 'Frem' Win Docu Talent Awards

    'Kix,' 'Frem' Win Docu Talent Awards at Sarajevo Film Festival

    Hungary’s “Kix” and Czech Republic’s “Frem” won the Docu Talent Awards, chosen from a field of 10 documentary features from Central and Eastern Europe, at the Sarajevo Film Festival on Sunday. “Kix,” directed by David Mikulan and Balint Revesz, is the story of Sanyi, a troubled youth, as he grows from eight to 18, morphing [...]

  • The Garden

    Bragason Brings ‘Woman at War’s’ Geirharosdottir to ‘The Garden’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Acclaimed actress Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir, best known for “Woman at War,” is set to star in writer/director Ragnar Bragason’s dark comedy “The Garden.” Currently in post-production and to be pitched at Haugesund’s New Nordic Films over Aug. 20-23, “The Garden” is Bragason’s sixth feature and his first one since the 2013 Toronto entry “Metalhead.” “I did [...]

  • Costa Gavras

    Costa-Gavras to Receive San Sebastian Career Achievement Donostia Award

    Costa-Gavras, the Greek-born France-based director of some of the most famed movies of political cinema, from 1969’s “Z” to 1981’s “Missing,” will receive a career achievement Donostia Award at this September’s 67th San Sebastian Film Festival. The filmmaker will collect his prize on Sept. 21 at a ceremony held at San Sebastian’s Victoria Eugenia, where [...]

  • Mighty Eagle (Peter Dinklage), Leonard (Bill

    China Box Office: New Animations No Match For 'Nezha' Domination

    Chinese animation “Nezha” continued its run as China’s biggest hit of the summer, maintaining its top spot at the box office even 25 days into its run with a weekend gross of $41.2 million. The tally made it this weekend’s fourth highest grossing film worldwide. Meanwhile, two other new animated titles performed unremarkably. The flop of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content