MAR DEL PLATA– Seven Argentine helmers debut in Argentine competition section at the 30th Mar del Plata International Festival.
The twelve-features section offers a current prospect of Argentina’s industry muscle. Showcase features dramas, comedies, four docus, a thriller. Interestingly, four pics are helmed by director duos.
First-timer Francisco Varone directs a medium-age coming-of-ager, a road movie from Argentina to Bolivia gathering two very different cultures in “Road to La Paz,” starring Rodrigo de la Serna (Walter Salles’ “The Motorcycle Diaries”) and stage actor Ernesto Suarez. Having won prizes for commercials at Cannes and San Sebastian, Varone shared the 55th Cartagena Festival’s inaugural PuertoLab prize, its first post-production award, with “Paz,” a co-production between Argentina, Netherlands, Germany, and Quatar. L.A.-based Figa Films handles sales.
Also working a road-movie frame, Fernando Salem’s pop-art feel-good comedy “How Most Things Work” offers a portrait of Celina, who searches for answers about her family’s identity, after her father’s death. Salem’s currently prepping his sophomore effort, an adaptation of Romina Paula’s novel “Agosto.
In debutant Diego Lublinsky and Alvaro Urtizberea (“Tres minutos”) deadpan comedy “Hortensia,” the father of the main character also dies –now electrocuted when opening the fridge. Pic turns on a young woman who is fired and also her boyfriend, who is cheating on her with her best friend, to boot. In the middle of despair, Hortensia finds a note, written by herself at 14. It begins: “Goals to be happy.”
First-timer Matias Scarvaci, alongside Diego Gachassin (“Vladimir in Buenos Aires”) direct “Docile Bodies,” about the jail system melding documentary and fictionalized reality. Title recreates a chapter heading from French thinker Michel Foucault’s essay “Discipline and Punish.”
A third directorial duo: Debutants Juan Fernandez Gebauer and Nicolas Suarez with “Easy Ball,” depicting soccer fanaticism.
“The Football Boys” describes soccer from an observational, documentary point of view, analyzing the illusion of so many kids –sometimes others’ illusions– to break into the soccer big time. “Football” marks the third feature from Jorge Leandro Colas.
Set on a country farm, Eugenio Canevari’s opera prima “Paula” follows a young woman working as a maid in a house of middle-house employers who gets pregnant. “Paula” participated at Mar del Plata ‘s 2014 Work In Progress.
Based on Leonardo Oyola’s novel, “Kryptonite” is a thriller, inspired by the super heroes genre, set against the harsh background of a day-to-day reality in a public hospital in Buenos Aires’ province. Helmer Nicanor Loreti won best film in 2012 in Mar del Plata’s Argentina Competition with “Diablo.”
Benjamin Naishtat’s sophomore feature “El Movimiento” is set in 1835, a time of national chaos in Argentina. Naishtat’s debut, last year’s “History of Fear,” played at Locarno and Berlin main section. “Fear” won San Francisco’s New Directors and Jeonju’s Grand Prize awards. “Movimiento” is a co-production between Argentina and South Korea.
A scientific mockumentary echoing experimental cinema master Chris Marker, “Pequeño diccionario de la electricidad” turns on a pioneer in electricity energy applied to the audiovisual media field. The fourth helmers duet – Carolina Rimini and Gustavo Galuppo (“La creación de un mundo”) have directed.
Documentarian German Kral’s hybrid docu-fiction “Our Last Tango” surveys this dance fascination through two of the new tango dance main exponents, Juan Carlos Copes and Maria Nieves Rego. Kral has worked with Wim Wenders, who produced his “Musica cubana.”
The awaited “The Spider’s Lullaby” offers a portrait of Simon, a hardware’s owner and his raw relationship with his four employees. A suburban fable about how xenophobia, humiliation and confrontation fester within ordinary human lives. Jose Celestino Campusano (“Leo’s Room”) directs.
Argentine Competition section will face the jury scrutiny of journalist and Austin Fest programmer Todd Brown, Mexican producer-distributor Maximiliano Cruz (Julio Hernandez Cordon’s “I Promise You Anarchy,” Nicolas Pereda’s “Greatest Hits”), and Nina Rodriguez, program director at Mexico’s Guanajuato Fest.
The Mar del Plata International Film Festival runs Oct. 30–Nov. 7.