Locarno: Mexico’s Nomadas Unveils ‘Low Season’

Santiago de la Paz's outfit boards Sumie Garcia's project

Nomadas co-founder Santiago de la Paz, one of anew generation of Latin American producers rapidly emerging in Mexico, is developing Sumie Garcia Hirata’s second-chance woman’s drama “Low Season.”

Presented at Locarno’s Match Me! which brought aa dozen-and-more young Latin American producers or directors to the Swiss fest from Mexico, Chile, Brazil and Colombia. “Low Season” stars two of Mexico’s finest actresses of their generation, Ilse Salas (“Cantinflas,” “Gueros”) and Paulina Gaitan (“Sin Nombre,” “Trade”). Though it is hardly an “Y Tu Mama Tambien” in an emphasis on social divides, De la Paz insisted at Locarno, it tells the reencounter of Angela and Cecilia, two Mexican women from very different social origins.

Angela, who worked long-time as a maid in Cecilia’s parents house, asks her for a job. After the death of Cecilia’s parents in a car accident, she decides to rehabilitate her summer house in Acapulpo and hires Angela as her maid. Once in Acapulco, Angela lives in the present more than ever while Cecilia enters a self-destructive loop.

The film “is an exploration of solitude and the resistance to change,” in first-time directress Sumie Garcia Hirata’s words.

“Low Season” marks Mexico city-based Nomadas’ fiction feature debut after docu-features “Parque Lenin,” by Itziar Leemans and Carlos Mignon, a Visions du Reel 2015 selection, and Aleksandra Maciuzcek’s “Casa Blanca,” winner of the best Polish Film and best mid-length film at this year’s Krakow Film Fest.

At Nomadas, Santiago de la Paz has also co-produced in partnership with Mantarraya and Amondo Films dysfunctional collective action comedy “Pan-American Machinery,” by Mexican helmer-scribe Joaquin del Paso – also “Low Season’s” cinematographer – which was also presented at the first Locarno Fest Industry Days Match Me!

Selected for the Incubadora program at the Guanajuato Intl. Film Festival, “Low Season” has already gathered about 20% of development funding, according to producer De la Paz.

“Low Season” won co-production backing from Mexico’s Simplemente Rentals and post-production house Terminal, said De la Paz, a former sound designer.

Building its production slate, Nomadas is tapping other service companies to co-produce, putting equity against services, and it is establishing alliances with other young directors-producers from a new generation which is breaking through 10-to-15 years after companies such as Mantarraya and Canana burst onto the scene, founding what in industrial terms has become the New Mexican Cinema.

Incorporating a range of companies, such collaboration also aids access to direct subsidies, tax breaks or banking financing.

“Low Season” suggests the same horizontal alliance strategy that can be seen in new Mexican productions such as BH5 Group’s dark comedy “Museum,” Alfonso Ruizpalacios’ follow-up to “Gueros.”

Taking part Aug. 8-10 at Match Me!, Locarno’s new initiative to provide an informal networking platform for upcoming Latin American producers with projects in development, “Low Season” sparked interest from potential international co-production partners, especially from Colombia.

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