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‘Paradise,’ ‘Girls,’ ‘Alcalde’ play Latin Premiere

Fest unveils new sections, German Focus

All Latin American premieres, Mexican Mariana Chenillo’s “Paradise,” Argentine Santiago Palavecino’s “Some Girls” and singular docu-feature “El Alcalde” feature among a 21-title Latin Premiere sidebar at the Rio Festival.

The section unspools as Latin America’s cinema is, by some accounts and in some ways, building fast, including in Rio Fest appeal.

“Many years ago, most Latin American films were lucky to fill small theaters,” said Ilda Santiago, Rio Festival co-director.

“Now most films can play in big theaters. Many are audience pleasers. I think that says a lot about the state of Latin American film these days,” she added.

Films from two Latin American modern greats – Juan Jose Campanella’s San Sebastian opener “Foosball” and Alfonso Cuaron’s Venice opener “Gravity” – screen in World Cinema Panorama.

A Mexico City-set love story, “Paradise” turns on a loving, if over-weight, couple that embarks on a weight-loss program. Soon, their relationship seems threatened.

Enrolling genre tropes in an auteur movies, as a building number of Latin American helmers, Palavecino’s “Girls” is a compassionate depiction of female depression.

Helmed by Emiliano Altuna, Enrique Osorno and Carlos Rossini, “Alcalde” weighs in as a talking head portrait where the subject does all the talking, of Mexican mayor Mauricio Fernandez, who fought organized crime with criminal methods.

Underscoring the growing range of Latin American cinema, Latin Premiere boasts one international premiere – “Las busquedas” – and five Latin American debuts. The section is a major industry draw at Rio, but there are other lures too.

Rio this year unveils three new themed sidebars: Tec Section: Before the Virtual World Was Privacy, a seven-docu-feature section focusing on the erosion of privacy by high-tech Internet; Vanguard Expectation; and Famous Documentarians: Recent movies by the film form’s good and great –Frederick Wiseman, Nicolas Philbert, Errol Morris, Claude Lanzmann – as well as directors who have made more targeted docu incursions, such as Rithy Panh, with Cannes Un Certain Regard winner, “The Missing Picture.”

Paul Schrader will attend Rio over its first weekend for a screening of Venice player “The Canyons.”

Two French filmmakers will receive tributes: documentarian-turned-fiction director Claire Simon (“Ca Brule,” “God’s Offices”) and Alain Guiraudie, who broke out with “The King of Escape” and built on that reputation with “Stranger By the Lake,” a best director winner at Cannes Un Certain Regard.

Surrealistic filmmaker Ulrike Ottinger will attend for screenings of “Under Snow,” her latest movie, and 1981’s “Freak Orlando. Germany will be honored as Rio’s guest country with a Focus Germany and Berlin School Section. .

The Rio Festival runs Sept. 26- Oct.10, when it wraps with a prize ceremony.

LATIN PREMIERE
“The Future,” (Alicia Scherson, Chile)
“Halley,” (Sebastian Hofmann, Mexico)
“La Pa,” (Santiago Loza, Argentina)
“De martes a martes,” (Gustavo Fernandez Trivino, Argentina)
“Workers,” (Jose Luis Valle, Mexico)
“La piscina,” (Carlos Machado Quintela, Cuba)
“Carne de perro,” by Fernando Guzzoni (Chile)
“Las lagrimas,” (Pablo Delgado Sanchez, (Mexico)
“Mercedes Sosa, la Voz de Latinoamerica,” (Rodrigo Vila, Argentina)
“La eterna noche de las doce lunas,” (Priscila Padilla, Colombia)
“El loro y el cisne,”  (Alejo Moguillansky, Argentina)
“Heli,” (Amat Escalante, Mexico)
“Los Duenos,” (Agustin Toscano, Ezequiel Radusky Argentina)
“Los quiero a todos,” (Luciano Quilici, Argentina)
“Las busquedas,” (Jose Luis Valle, Mexico)
“Algunas chicas,” (Santiago Palavecino, Argentina)
“Paradise,” (Mariana Chenillo, Mexico)
“Cronica del fin del mundo,” (Mauricio Cuervo, Colombia)
7 Boxes, (Juan Carlos Maneglia, Tana Schembori, Paraguay)
“El Alcalde,” (Emiliano Altuna, Carlos F. Rossini, Diego Osorno, Mexico)
“La vida despues,” (David Pablos, Mexico)

TEC: BEFORE THE VIRTUAL WORLD
We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks,” (Alex Gibney, U.S.)
“Google and the World Brain,” (Ben Lewis, Spain, U.K.)
“TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard,” (Simon Klose, Sweden)
“The Network,” (Eva Orner, Australia, U.K.)
“Terms and Conditions May Apply,” (U.S.)
“Downloaded,” (Alex Winter, U.S.)
“InRealLife,” (Beeban Kidron, U.K.)

FOCUS GERMANY SECTION
“Houston,” (Bastian Gunther, Germany, U.S.)
“Gold,” (Thomas Arslan, Germany, Canada)
“Layla Fourie,” (Pia Marais, Germany, South Africa, France, Netherlands)
“Sona (Echolot),” (Athanasios Karanikolas, Germany)
“Hitler’s Children,” (Chanoch Ze’evi, Germany, U.S., Israel)
No Place on Earth,” (Nadav Schirman, U.K., Germany, U.S.)
“Quellen des Lebens,” (Oskar Roehler, Germany)
“Mr. Morgan’s Last Love,” (Sandra Nettelbeck, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, France)
Exit Marrakech,” (Caroline Link, Germany, France)
“Die Andere Heimat,” (Edgar Reitz, Germany, France)
“Die Lebenden,” (Barbara Albert, Austria, Poland, Germany)
“Nordstrand,” (Florian Eichinger, Germany)
“Eltern,” (Robert Thalheim, Germany)
“Broken Glass Park,” (Bettina Blumner, Germany)
“Heute bin ich blond,” (Marc Rothermund, Germany, Belgium)
“Nemez,” (Stanislav Guntner, Germany)
“Ich bin Louisa Jules,” (Roberto Manhaes Reis, Viola Scheuerer, Germany)

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