MADRID – Three awaited Latin American movies – Cristian Jimenez’s “Voice Over,” Chicho Teixeira’s “Ausencia” and Rodrigo Sepulveda’s “Aurora” – form part of a six-pic lineup at Toulouse’s 25th Films in Progress.
Unspooling March 27-28 at Toulouse’s Cinelatino Rencontres in southern France, and strategically staged less than two months before the Cannes Festival, the pix-in-post competition is a traditional launch-pad for a berth at Cannes, either in the official selection or now also Directors’ Fortnight, which has upped its presence of Latin American titles.
A dramedic dissection of a dysfunctional family’s decline, “Voice Over” marks Jimenez’s follow-up to “Bonsai,” which topped Toulouse’s 2011 Films in Progress, segueing to Cannes Directors’ Fortnight. Jimenez’s debut, “Optical Illusions,” won a special mention in 2008.
Lead-produced by Sao Paulo’s Bossa Nova Filmes, written by Teixeira (“Alice’s House”), Sabina Anzuategui (“Alice’s House”) and Marcelo Gomes (“The Man of the Crowd,” “Cinema, Aspirins and Vultures,”) “Ausencia” (aka “The Santo Amaro Circus”) chronicles the daily life and sexual awakening of a 14-year-old boy, whose deep hurt at his father’s abandonment has tragic consequences.
“Aurora” (pictured), from Chile’s Rodrigo Sepulveda (“Padre Nuestro”), features a reportedly powerful perf by Amparo Noguera as a woman who finds a dead baby in a landfill. Noguera was already a standout starring in Sepulveda’s 2001 debut, “Un ladron y su mujer.”
Mixing it up, Films in Progress will also feature two debuts: Colombian Carlos Tribino Mamby’s “El silencio del rio” chronicles the impact of Colombia’s civil conflict on a 10-year-old boy; “Beira Mar,” a directorial two-hander from prolific Brazilian short-filmmakers Filipe Matzembacher and Marcio Reolon, about two friends’ gradual estrangement on a winter trip to the coast.
Rounding up Toulouse’s Films in Progress, Peru-born Hector Galvez, who attracted notice with his 2009 debut, “Paraiso,” will present “NN.” A social-issue procedural that explores the consequences of civil conflict from a more generic angle, “NN” turns on the discovery of a corpse with a photo under its shirt of a smiling young woman. “NN” won Cuba’s prestigious Havana Fest screenplay plaudit, as Claudia Llosa’s “Madeinusa” and Javier Fuentes-Leon’s “Undertow” before it.