MAR DEL PLATA – Argentina’s Mar del Plata regular Jose Campusano bowed his latest pic, ”El Perro Molina” (Dog Molina), on Tuesday at the festival once more where it vies for a prize in the International Competition section.
As in his previous five films, “Twisted Romance,” “Vikingo,” “Paraiso de Sangre,” “Fango,” and “Fantasmas de la Ruta,” Campusano worked with non-pros combined with a few professional actors. Once again, the story of “Dog Molina” is based on actual events and violence is a constant. As in his other pics, he relied on the Audiovisual Cluster of Buenos Aires province, and municipalities, in this case Marco Paz, to bankroll his low-budgeted pics. “Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to make my films,” said Campusano whose pics usually hover around the $100,000 budget range. “Dog Molina” turns on a marginal character called Molina whose intentions to stay out of trouble are thwarted when the local sheriff enlists him to extract his estranged wife from a brothel.
But some changes are afoot. Campusano shot his upcoming pic, “Placer y Martirio” (Pleasure and Martyrdom) outside Argentina for the first time, in Chile, specifically at the seaside town of Valdivia, where he was backed by the Valdivia Festival and the Chilean Film Commission. In contrast to his other pics, “there is no physical violence in this film, only spiritual,” he said. “It’s an intense drama; very, very intense,” he added. “Placer y Martirio” follows various middle-aged women, and their secret affairs of the heart. However, he stuck to his self-imposed mandate to work mainly with non-pros living within the community and based his story on actual events.
Ever prolific, Campusano has already completed four to five more screenplays. He’ll be seeking co-producers for the first time. “We’re exploring ways to co-produce with Peru, Belize, Bolivia or Brazil,” he said.
Their themes hardly fit the feel-good mold. One pic deals with pedophile priests, another dwells on transvestites and another is set in a prison. “Let the others entertain; I deal with social realities.”