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Cannes Festival to Bow Showcase for New Latin American Directors

Event will be held with the Buenos Aires Lab

MADRID – In a year when two Latin American directorial debuts have topped U.S. B.O. charts (Uruguayan Fede Alvarez’s “Evil Dead” (pictured above) and Argentine Andy Muschietti’s “Mama”), Cannes is spotlighting six young Latin American directors in the fest’s first focus on yet-to-be-completed movies.

The showcase, titled BAL Goes to Cannes: Bafici Work in Progress, will take place May 21, organized by Cannes’ Film Market and the Buenos Aires Lab, the industry forum of the Buenos Aires Intl. Independent Film Festival (Bafici).

The sextet were announced Saturday in Buenos Aires. The list includes Santiago Palavecino’s psychological drama “Some Girls” (which won an Arte Prize mid-week), and the biggest production in the mix, “After the Rain,” from Brazil’s Claudio Marques and Marilia Hughes, a preppy high-school drama set as Brazil emerges from military dictatorship.

The others are “Por las plumas,” a deadpan dramedy from Costa Rica’s Neto Villalobos; docu-feature “La once,” from Chile’s Maite Alberdi, and “Reimon,” from Argentina’s Rodrigo Moreno, the best-known of the six after winning Berlin’s Alfred Bauer Award in 2006 with “The Custodian.”

Upcoming next year is another international partnership aimed at enhancing the creativity and raising the profile on new films from Latin America and BAL. In this partnership, the Valdivia Festival’s Australab in Chile and the Rotterdam Festival’s Cinemart market will partner on a year-round Latin American project development program.

The initiative launches in 2014 at BAL, targeting 10 projects from across the region, with workshops at April’s BAL and October’s Valdivia; then in 2015, four or more projects will be presented at Cinemart.

In yet another Latin American showcase, the 15th Bafici Festival handed out awards Saturday, with “La Paz,” directed by Santiago Loza, taking the Argentinean Official Selection prize. Pic, which is sold by L.A.-based FiGa Films, concerns the relationship between the son of an upper-class family and their maid. Raul Perrone’s “P3ND3JOS,” a visual poem set to music, took best director.

The fest also features awards in its Intl. Selection, with best film going to Brit Peter Strickland’s “Berberian Sound Studio.” Francesco Carril won best actor for Spaniard Jonas Trueba’s “The Wishful Thinkers.” Argentina’s Jazmin Lopez won the Special Jury Prize for “Lions,” an arrestingly-lensed horror film that establishes Lopez – and this is very much the point of Bafici and BAL – as a talent to track.

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