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‘Mudo,’ ‘Fish’ and ‘Pepa’ Play Films in Progress

Toulouse-San Sebastian showcase a springboard for Cannes

MADRID – Daniel and Diego Vega’s “El Mudo,” Marcela Said’s “The Summer of the Flying Fish” and Samuel Kishi Leopo’s “Somos Mari Pepa” feature in the Toulouse/San Sebastian 23rd Film in Progress, a competish for Latin American pics in post.

As Hollywood agencies and Europe’s studios scour for foreign talent as never before, Films in Progress showcases new movies from among the best of young Latin American talent.

Some — the Vegas, Kishi Leopo — suggest the same kind of edgier wider audience appeal that has given Mexico’s Gerardo Naranjo the opportunity to develop one of his next projects with Focus Features, while Argentina’s Pablo Trapero has inked with Working Title for an English-language debut.

“Mudo” was put through Cannes’ Cinefondation Atelier, a prestige Paris-based film development workshop. It turns on a 40-year-old Peruvian judge, a self-styled one-man anti-corruption brigade. In a pan-Latin American link-up, Carlos Reygadas Mexico City-based No Dream Cinema co-produces with Paris’ Urban Factory.

The Vegas’ “October” won Cannes 2010 Un Certain Regard jury prize and was a New Yorker Films U.S. pick-up.

An allegory of Chile’s unchanging bourgeoisie, “Fish” is the fiction feature debut of Marcela Said, whose third documentary, “The Young Butler,” played Berlin’s 2011 Forum.

It is also the latest film from Bruno Bettati’s Jirafa Films, producer of Cristian Jimenez’s Cannes player “Bonsai,” and Alicia Scherson’s Sundance 2013-selected “The Future.”

Turning on a 16 year old trying to get his rocks off and put a band together, “Pepa” expands on Kishi Leopo’s “Mari Pepa,” which won best short at Guadalajara, Morelia and the Mexican Academy Awards, establishing Leopo as a potential crossover talent to track.

Also playing Films in Progress are two mother-son dramas: “Bad Hair,” from Venezuela’s Mariana Rondon, who attracted attention with her second feature, 2007’s “Postcards From Leningrad”; and Brazilian producer Caru Alves de Souza’s helming debut, “Underage,” about a woman judge facing an ethical dilemma when her son is arrested.

Completing Films in Progress is Peruvian Enrica Perez’s “Climas,” a multi-part feature debut about three women in different parts of Peru, which was initially developed at New York’s Columbia U.

Films in Progress, the industry highlight of Toulouse’s Rencontres Cinemas d’Amerique Latine, runs March 21-22.

(Emilio Mayorga contributed to this article.)

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