MADRID – In the hurly-burly of Toronto and the build-up to San Sebastian, Madrid-based Latido Films has acquired world sales rights to Juan Martin Hsu’s “La Salada,” a patchwork narrative tale of immigrants’ lives, dreams and suffering in Argentina.
Buenos Aires-born Hsu’s feature debut, ”La Salada” screens in Contemporary World Cinema at Toronto, then segues to San Sebastian, where it plays in Horizontes Latinos.
“La Salada” already won the top Industry Award at 2013’s San Sebastian Films in Progress pix-in-pose strand and development plaudits at the Havana Festival and Buenos Aires’ Bafici.
Hsu is one of a new wave of Argentine directors –bursting on to the festival scene bulwarking an already powerful presence of movies from established Argentine helmers, often stepping up in scale, at Berlin, Cannes, Locarno and San Sebastian.
10 Argentine productions play Toronto; of the 14 Latin American titles playing San Sebastian’s Horizontes Latinos, eight are from Argentine directors, three of them first timers: Hsu, Matias Lucchesi (“Natural Sciences”) and Benjamin Naishtat (“History of Fear”).
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Set in a singular context of large social resonance, Buenos Aires La Salada, the biggest street market in the world, founded by immigrants and bolstered by Argentina’s endemic economic crises, “La Salada” puts human faces to trends in first and second-generation immigration.
It traces three story strands: Teen Yunjin’s growing attraction to an Argentine boy, despite her upcoming marriage to a fellow-Korean; the friendship between Yunjin’s father Mr. Kim, and an 18-year-old, Bruno, recently arrived in Argentina; lonesome Huang’s life of selling bootlegged DVDs and watching Argentine movies, to understand his new country.
“The acquisition responds to our interest in representing films of quality. ‘La Salada’ has demonstrated that from project stage, and has now confirmed its quality with its participation in Toronto and San Sebastian,” said Silvia Iturbe, Latido managing director.
“We’re betting once more on Latino cinema and new talents.”
A “thoughtful and affecting study,” Juan Martin Hsu’s “gorgeous film captures the singular spirit of a fascinating reality,” Toronto programmer Diana Sanchez writes in her program notes.