×

San Sebastian Film Festival Nurtures Regional Pics Via Co-Prod’n Forum

Festival a key launchpad for Latin American arthouse film projects with crossover ambitions

San Sebastian’s Europe-Latin America Co-production Forum — now in its second edition — has strengthened the fest’s status as a key launchpad for Latin American arthouse film projects with crossover ambitions.

Victoria Galardi’s femme friendship dramedy “I Thought It Was a Party,” produced by Buenos Aires-based Magma Cine, was a Forum standout last year.

UIP released “Party” in May in Argentina, and it’s playing in San Sebastian’s Horizontes Latinos sidebar.

“Forum was the starting point of the film, serving to to test its international possibilities,” Magma’s producer Nathalia Videla says.

Toplining Elena Anaya (“Talk to Her”) and Valeria Bertuccelli (“A Boyfriend for My Wife”), the project found a Spanish co-producer — Fernando Trueba’s shingle Fernando Trueba PC — after the forum. Pubcaster TVE has taken Spain’s free-to-air TV rights.

“Participating in a forum like this gives your project quality branding,” says producer Michel Ruben at Dynamo, a partner in Participant PanAmerica.

Last year, Dynamo presented helmer Javier Fuentes-Leon’s psychological thriller “The Vanished Elephant” and Carlos Moreno’s “On With the Music!,” an adaptation of Andres Caicedo’s novel.

“Both titles have crossover potential,” Ruben says, “‘Elephant’ is a noir genre movie; ‘Music’ focuses on young audiences.” “Elephant” will start shooting in Peru this month.

San Sebastian’s ever-wider embrace of Latin America comes as the region gets more government support and a market-driven business model boosted by pay TV sales as the cable sector explodes in South America.

“The challenge is to make movies for more massive audiences without losing artistic quality and an auteur brand,” says Videla.

For Latin American filmmakers, there is a need to know which market they should target, which is related to the fi lms’ financing structures, notes Carnaval Cines’ Arturo Yepez, producer of Sebastian Cordero’s forum-selected “Such Is Life in the Tropics,” his follow-up to sci-fier “Europa Report,” made with U.S. coin and distribution (Magnet Releasing).

In other words, a fi lm made with local subsidies and TV money will most likely deal with local or regional subjects and not travel as well globally as a film that’s an international co-production with an international sales agent.

Peru’s Adrian Saba, whose micro-budget debut “The Cleaner,” won Palm Springs’ 2013 New Voices/New Visions, will present “Donde suenan los salvajes,” a $396,000 budget project about a teen enamored of his Lima gang leader’s sister.

“Salvajes” aims to tap into Peruvian and European film funds. Saba, however, is also market-minded: “It’s important for film to generate returns, and we need to be realistic with the budgets.”

Solita Producciones’ Paz Urrutia, producer of “Nobody Boy,” Chilean Fernando Guzzoni’s next outing after “Dog Flesh” — a San Sebastian’s New Directors winner in 2012 — will search at the forum for a Dutch or German co-producer and a pre-sale to a European TV channel.

“Boy” already has France’s JBA Production as a co-producer. “Given Chile’s small market size, we start searching for international partners from projects’early stages,” she says.

More Biz

  • Harvey Mason Jr.., Chair of the

    Interim Grammy Chief Slams Deborah Dugan in Letter; Warns of ‘Misinformation,' 'Leaks'

    As the war of words between the Recording Academy and ousted president/CEO Deborah Dugan continues to escalate, interim boss Harvey Mason Jr. today issued a statement to the Academy’s membership about Dugan’s alleged misconduct and warned about “leaks and misinformation.” The letter claims that Dugan’s attorney Bryan Freedman sought “millions of dollars” for his client [...]

  • Frontrunners Emerge As BBC's Tony Hall

    Frontrunners Emerge as BBC Boss Tony Hall Set to Leave Broadcasting Behind

    As the U.K. industry reacts to news of Tony Hall’s intention to depart the BBC this July, top-level executives including Charlotte Moore and Tim Davie as well as external contenders such as Channel 4’s Alex Mahon are beginning to emerge. Variety understands that Lord Hall, who has headed the BBC for seven years as director [...]

  • Recording Academy President/CEO Deborah Dugan participates

    Executive Assistant Preparing Lawsuit Against Ousted Grammy Chief

    In the latest twist in the increasingly bitter exit of Deborah Dugan from the Recording Academy after just five months, the ousted president/CEO is about to face a lawsuit from her former assistant, Claudine Little, who has retained former Harvey Weinstein/ Charlie Walk attorney Patty Glaser to represent her, two sources tell Variety. The news was [...]

  • Two Rivers Media Buys Out Parent

    Two Rivers Media Buys Out Parent Kew Media Group's Stake In Business

    Two Rivers Media has bought out parent group Kew Media Group’s minority stake in the business. Formed by former STV Productions head Alan Clements in January 2019, the production outfit behind Channel 5’s recent “Susan Hill’s Ghost Story” launched with the backing of Kew, Noble Grossart Investments and Channel 4’s Indie Growth Fund. Noble Grossart [...]

  • Grammy Awards 60th Annual Grammy Awards,

    Recording Academy Paid Millions Annually to Outside Law Firms

    Among the concerns listed in a memo sent to the Recording Academy’s head of HR by president/CEO Deborah Dugan before she was placed on administrative leave Thursday was an item about the organization’s “exorbitant and unnecessary” legal fees to outside law firms, according to sources familiar with the document. According to the most recent 990 [...]

  • Chuck D of Public EnemyGods of

    Public Enemy’s Chuck D Slams Grammys Over Deborah Dugan Ouster

    Chuck D, frontman of Public Enemy — who are receiving the Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Grammys next week — posted a long statement on Instagram criticizing the Recording Academy over its sudden ousting of new president/CEO Deborah Dugan yesterday. Dugan, who had been in the job only five months, was placed on administrative leave after [...]

  • Any Given Wednesday With Bill Simmons

    Spotify in Talks to Acquire Bill Simmons' The Ringer: Report

    Spotify is in early talks to acquire The Ringer, the digital content and podcast network launched by ESPN alum Bill Simmons in 2016, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. A representative for Spotify declined to comment on the report. Reps for Ringer did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Spotify’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content