×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Companion’ Tops San Sebastian’s Forum

‘Acevedo’s ‘Land and Shade’ receives a special mention

SAN SEBASTIAN – “The Companion,” the third solo feature of Cuban Pavel Giroud, won the best project award at San Sebastian’s 2nd Europe-Latin America Co-production Forum.

Sponsored by Spain’s Audiovisual Producers’ Rights Management Association (EGEDA), the prize carries a Euros10,000 ($13,000) cash prize.

Produced by Cuba/Panama-based Arete Audiovisual, in co-production with Panama’s Jaguar Films, Venezuela’s Trampolin Impulso Creativo and France’s Tu Vas Voir, “The Companion” was always one of the highest-profile projects at the Forum in terms of both director – this is Giroud’s third solo film after “The Silly Age” and “Omerta” – and producers: Luis Pacheco’s Jaguar Films is Panama’s best-known production/services company; Edgard Tenembaum’s Tu Vas Voir produced Walter Salles’ “The Motorcycle Diaries.”

Set in 1988 Cuba, “The Companion” was also one of the most heartfelt stories pitched at the Forum, the tale of a friendship between a disgraced pugilist forced to serve as a warden – in Cuban government jingo-speak, a “companion” – for an HIV victim.

“Companion” works at several levels. Firing shots across the bows of Fidel Castro’s government – HIV victims were incarcerated in military centers – movie’s emotional heart lies in a budding odd-couple friendship, darkened by the HIV patient’s mortal illness.

Giroud told Variety at San Sebastian that filming “Companion” had become an “obsession” for him.

Also one from the heart, “Land and Shade,” which received a Special Mention, had its director, Colombia’s Cesar Augusto Acevedo, close to tears as he pitched Monday a tale with large autobiographical elements.

It turns on an ageing farmer who, after 17 years of absence, returns to his native village in Colombia to find it almost gone, devastated by sugar plantations, and his own family victims of progress.

Acevedo said that only by making the film would he recuperate his own childhood memories.

One of the driving forces in new Cuban production (“The Wind Journeys,” “Crab Trap,” “La Playa,” “La Sirga”), Diana Bustamante’s Bogota-based Burning Blue will lead produce.

The Co-production Forum ran Sept. 23-25.

More Film

  • Fyre Festival Caterer Receives Thousands in

    Unpaid Fyre Festival Caterer Raises Thousands in Donations on GoFundMe

    As two Fyre Festival documentaries hit the airwaves, a couple who say their credit was ruined due to the Fyre Festival’s lack of payment for their services have raised $54,381 at time of publication on GoFundMe. Elvis and Maryann Rolle wrote on their page that they catered “no less than 1000 meals per day” in [...]

  • DF-10956_R – Gwilym Lee (Brian May) and

    'Bohemian Rhapsody' Producer Confirms Bryan Singer's Reason for Leaving, Says 'No One' Was Attached to Play Mercury

    “Bohemian Rhapsody” producer Graham King provided insight into some of the events surrounding the Golden Globe-winning film Saturday at the Producers Guild Awards Nominees Breakfast, including director Bryan Singer’s departure from the film partway through production. “It’s an unfortunate situation, with like 16, 17 days to go and Bryan Singer just had some issues, his [...]

  • Author Tony Mendez arrives at the

    Tony Mendez, Former CIA Officer Depicted in 'Argo,' Dies at 78

    Tony Mendez, the former CIA technical operations officer who orchestrated the 1980 rescue of six American diplomats from Iran and who was portrayed by Ben Affleck in the Academy Award winning film “Argo,” has died. He was 78. Mendez’s book agent, Christy Fletcher, announced the news on Twitter Saturday morning. “Early this morning, Antonio (Tony) [...]

  • Glass Movie

    'Glass' to Rank in Top 3 MLK Debuts With $48 Million

    M. Night Shyamalan’s “Glass” is on its way to a solid debut with an estimated $48 million for the four-day Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. A sequel to 2000’s “Unbreakable” and 2017’s “Split,” the Universal superhero thriller should bring in around $41 million from 3,841 domestic locations over the Friday through Sunday period. The estimates are [...]

  • China's 'Three Adventures of Brooke' to

    China's 'Three Adventures of Brooke' to Hit French Theaters (EXCLUSIVE)

    Midnight Blur Films has signed a deal with French distributor Les Acacias to release Chinese arthouse drama “Three Adventures of Brooke” in France this year, the Chinese production company told Variety on Saturday. A release date has yet to be set for the film, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival and stars Chinese newcomer Xu Fangyi [...]

  • Noe Debre On His Directorial Debut,

    Top French Screenwriter Noe Debre Makes Directorial Debut, ‘The Seventh Continent’

    This last half-decade, few French screenwriters have run up such an illustrious list of co-write credits as Noé Debré. Thomas Bedigain’s writing partner on Jacques Audiard’s Cannes Palme d’Or winner “Deephan,” Debra co-penned Bedigain’s own debut, “The Cowboys,” “Racer and the Jailbird,” by Michael Roskam, and “Le Brio,” directed by Yvan Attal. He has now [...]

  • Julien Trauman Talks Survival-Thriller Short ‘At

    Julien Trauman on Survival-Thriller Short ‘At Dawn’

    France’s Julien Trauman has never been afraid to play with genre, and in his latest short, the MyFrenchFilmFestival participant “At Dawn,” he employs aspects of psychological thriller, survival, coming-of-age and fantasy filmmaking. “At Dawn” kicks off the night before when a group of teens, one about to leave town, are imbibing heavily around a beach-side [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content