“The Omission,” the feature film debut of Argentine writer-helmer Sebastian Schjaer, won the best project award at San Sebastian’s 4th Europe-Latin America Co-production Forum.
Sponsored by Spain’s Audiovisual Producer’s Rights Management Association (EGEDA), the award carries a Euros 10,000 ($11,160) cash prize.
Produced by Melanie Schapiro at Buenos Aires-based Trapecio Cine, an up—and-coming shingle, project has already secured backing from Rotterdam festival’s Hubert Bals Fund, Argentina’s Fundacion Typa and 3 Puertos Cine Workshop plus Cannes’ Cinefondation.
Film follows Paula, a 23-year old Buenos Aires-born girl, and her last wintry days in a inhospitable Southern Argentina city, where she’s looking for a job. Paula must battle with the harsh living conditions of the South but also with several unresolved aspects of her personal and family life.
In the film, “the intimate, silent tone coexists with young people of boundless vital energy, and money appears as the solution to social relations. People who run without direction and who grow with every blow,” according to Sebastian Schjaer, whose short “The Broken Past” played at Cannes’ 2015 Directors’ Fortnight.
With a completed screenplay, on which work will be carried out at the Cinefondation Residence, “The Omission” is scheduled to roll in July 2016.
Uruguayan writer-director Alvaro Brechner’s humanist survival drama “Memorias del calabozo,” one of the highest-profile projects at the Forum, received a Special Mention.
Produced by Mariela Besuievsky at Madrid’s Tornasol Films and Mariana Secco at Montevideo’s Salado, “Memorias” tells a true-life story of physical and psychological resistance of nine Tupamaro guerrilla members, imprisoned during ’70s Uruguayan dictatorship, and subjected to a solitary confinement which lasted 12 years and was aimed at driving them mad.
The San Sebastian Co-production Forum ran Sept. 21-23.