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‘Salvajes,’ ‘Tropics,’ ‘Boy’ Hit San Sebastian

16 projects at Europe-Latin America Co-production Forum

SAN SEBASTIAN –- Sebastian Cordero’s “Such Is Life in the Tropics,” Fernando Guzzoni’s “Nobody Boy” and Adrian Saba’s “Donde suenan los salvajes” are among 16 projects selected for the San Sebastian Festival’s 2nd Europe-Latin America Co-Production Forum, one of its main industry events, which kicks off Monday.

San Sebastian’s Forum is supported by the Cannes Market’s and Argentina’s Incaa Film Institute with select project producers being invited to Ventana Sur and next May’s Cannes Producers Network.

Rolling off Magnolia’s U.S. bow on Aug. 2 of sci-fi thriller “Europa Report,” Cordero’s first full English-language movie, “Tropics” marks his return to Spanish-language filmmaking. Structured as a classical tragedy and set in his native Ecuador, it tells the tale of a Guayaquil bigwig, who fortuitously kills a boy on an illegal deer hunt.

First fruit of Ecuador’s Carnaval Cine, whose partners are Cordero, screenwriter Andres Crespo and producer Arturo Yepez, “Tropics” was already stirring buzz on the international market in the run-up to the Forum.

It is also under development at the 5th Puentes Europe-Latin America Producers Workshop.

A dysfunctional father-son relationship drama produced by Paz Urrutia at Chile’s Solita Producciones, “Nobody Boy” reps Guzzoni’s follow-up to debut “Dog Flesh,” which took San Sebastian’s New Directors Prize in 2012.

First presented at Toulouse’s Cinema in Development, “Donde suenan los salvajes,” about a teen enamored of his Lima gang leader’s sister, was developed at Cannes Cinefondation Residence. Saba’s micro-budget debut, “The Cleaner,” won Palm Springs’ 2013 New Voices/New Visions competition. It also tied down a sales agent deal, being picked up by Xavier Henry-Rashid’s Film Republic.

In a major reshaping of San Sebastian’s industry events, the 2nd Forum will run Sept. 23-25, parallel to fest’s Films in Progress, one of the strongest pix-in-post showcases in the Spanish-speaking world.

Dating creates an effective three-day meet-mart concentrating industry attendance and biz at the Spanish festival. A mass of Latin American producers, with and without projects, hit San Sebastian over the weekend, their numbers swelling on Sunday.

Marking further departures, Spanish rights collection society Egeda will award a Euros10,000 ($13,000) cash prize to the Forum’s best project; one project will also be invited to the Central American/Caribbean development workshop organized by the Ibermedia Program film fund for Latin America, Spain and Portugal.

Further Forum projects feature up-and-coming talent such as Argentina’s Milagros Mumenthaler, Mexico’s Lucia Carreras and Cuba’s Pavel Giroud.

Produced out of Argentina by Violeta Bava and Rosa Martinez Rivero’s Ruda Cine, Mumenthaler’s “Pozo de aire” is her awaited follow-up to 2011’s “Back To Stay,” which topped the Locarno and Mar del Plata fests.

Backed by Mexico’s Filmadora Producciones, whose “The Noble Family” scored a huge $26.3 million for Warner Bros. in Mexico earlier this year,  the solitude-themed “Tamara and the Ladybug” is helmed by Carreras, co-scribe of Matthew Rowe’s rave-reviewed Cannes Camera d’Or winner “Leap Year.”

Unspooling during the early days of AIDS in Cuba, Giroud’s “El acompanante” is set up at Edgard Tenembaum’s Paris-based Tu Vas Voir, the producer of Walter Salles’ “The Motorcycle Diaries.”

A well-regarded Spanish distaff director, best known for politically-tinged dramas, (“Ander eta Yul,” “Paisito”), Ana Diez will present “La puerta del amor.”

Other movie projects to be pitched at San Sebastian include Cesar Augusto Acevedo’s rural drama “La tierra y la sombra,” produced by Diana Bustamante’s Colombia-based Burning Blue, Uruguayan comedy “Las toninas van al este,” from Gonzalo Delgado and Veronica Perrotta, “Camino de paz,” Argentinean Francisco Varone’s odd-couple friendship drama between an aged and ill Muslim and a young slacker, and “A la sombra de los arboles” Chilean Matias Rojas’ real-event-inspired child abuse chronicle, winner of June’s Bolivia Lab. It marks Rojas’ follow-up to “Raiz,” which world premieres at San Sebastian in its Horizontes Latinos section.

Also at the Forum: Brazilian Andre Gevaerd’s “Do outra lado da lua,” documentary “La noche oscura del alma,” from Colombia’s Augusto Sandino, co-producer of “Karen Cries on a Bus,” and another Colombian project, Mario Esteban Castano’s Amazon-set “Virgen exotica,” which was well-received at a Huelva co-production meet.

Two more Spanish projects – Pedro Aguilera’s “Demonios tus ojos” and Antonio Cuadri’s “Operacion Concha” – will also be presented to potential co-producers and sales agents.

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