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‘Perros,’ ‘Actor,’ ‘Return’ Highlights at Puentes

Film projects at Montevideo Europe-Latin America workshop invited to Ventana Sur

Marcela Said’s “Los Perros,” Paula Markovitch’s “Leading Actor” and Gorki Glaser-Muller’s “The Return” feature among 10 projects at the 6th Puentes Europe-Latin America Producers Workshops.

A one-year training-networking course for early-in-development projects organized by the European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs (EAVE), the first workshop of Puentes 2014-2015 edition has just taken place in Montevideo, Uruguay (Nov. 27-Dec. 1), with the partnership of Montevideo-based Mutante Cine.

“As Puentes is more and more becoming an established brand with extremely good results in terms of festival exposure and international distribution, the number and level of applications is constantly getting higher, and the selection is thus becoming more and more competitive,” said Mutante’s Agustina Chiarino, Puentes project manager.

Looking at the current Puentes edition lineup, “we realize there’s a strong tendency towards more commercially viable and market-oriented projects alongside the traditional arthouse and festival films, and a growing interest in genre projects in general,” Chiarino said.

Produced by Sophie Erbs at Paris-based Cinema Defacto, “Los Perros” marks Chilean Marcela Said’s follow-up to her feature debut, “The Summer of the Flying Fish,” a Director’s Fortnight player in Cannes last year.

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A co-production with Augusto Matte’s Chile-based Jirafa Films and Puentes graduate Benjamin Domenech’s Rei Cine in Argentine, scheduled to roll from August, “Perros” tells the story of a 40-year-old woman, a member of the Chilean bourgeoisie, victim of her husband’s and father’s psychological abuse that finds solace in the company of a former colonel with a dark past.

“Leading Actor,” a drama on a non-professional actor in a film premiering at the Berlinale, is set up at Malgorzata Staron’s Warsaw-based Staron Films, the producer behind Paula Markovitch’s Berlin 2011 Silver Bear-winner “The Prize.”

Produced by Zentropa International Sweden, Chile-set political thriller “The Return” is the sophomore feature by Gorki Glaser-Muller, after his 2012’s pic “Once a Year,” which Zentropa already co-produced.

Another Puentes selection is helmer Gonzalo Tobal’s crime drama “Dolores,” produced by Santiago Gallelli at Rei Cine. Argentina’s Tobal directed Cannes 2012’s Special Screening “Villegas,” another Rei Cine production, and the Cannes Cinefondation-winning shortpic “Now Everybody Seems to Be Happy.”

Further highlighits include “The Heiresses,” the feature debut of Marcelo Martinessi, currently at Cannes’ Cinefondation, produced by Karen Fraenkel at Paraguay’s outfit Mira. 

“The Heiresses” turns on two Asuncion-based women who live together as a couple for 30 years despite a very conservative Paraguayan society and who are forced to part as one of them is sent to jail.

Puentes‘ new configuration, that welcomes in addition professionals from sales, distribution, festivals and markets in the workshop group, “is allowing a professional network across both continents that is truly unique,” Chiarino said.

 

Parallel to the Puentes workshop, a tailor-made Eave on Demand session in Montevideo was organized for selected Uruguayan producers, who also had the opportunity to network with the Puentes participants.

Uruguayan projects in development presented at the meeting include Eduardo Pinero and Pablo Fernandez’s “Reus II,” a sequel to the Uruguayan box office hit drama “Reus,” and “The Employer and the Employee,” the third pic by helmer-producer Manuel Nieto, whose “The Dog Pound” won a Tiger Award at Rotterdam Film Festival in 2006.

The producers selected for Puentes and Eave on Demand attend Ventana Sur thanks to a special partnership with the Buenos Aires market.

The second workshop of Puentes 2014-15 edition will bow in August, within the framework of the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland.

 

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