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Gael Garcia Bernal, Denis Lavant, Alfredo Castro Among Toulouse Films in Progress Stars

Pablo Aguero, Sebastian Brahm, JBA, Tornasol, Mantarraya, Teia among section’s six-pic directors, producers

MADRID – Pablo Aguero’s awaited Gael Garcia Bernal starrer “Eva no duerme” and Sebastian Brahm’s “Sex Life of Plants,” his follow-up to “Roman’s Circuit,” will play at France’s Toulouse CineLatino Festival’s Films in Progress, a traditional springboard for selection at Cannes or major fests beyond.

A pix-in-post showcase, the 27th Films in Progress runs March 26-27.

Produced by Paris-based JBA Production, whose credits include movies by Rithy Panh, Tsai Ming-liang and Alice Rohrwacher, “Eva” is co-produced by Madrid’s Tornasol Films and Buenos Aires’ Haddock Films, the companies behind Juan Jose Campanella’s Oscar winning “The Secret in the Eyes.”

Directed by Argentine’s Aguero (“Salamandra,” “77 Doronship”), it is inspired by the incredible, but true, 25-year-odyssey of Evita Peron’s embalmed corpse, that was, in just one episode, buried in secret in Italy for 15 years with the connivance of the Pope, as her exquisite if somewhat battered cadaver remained a cornerstone of Peronism, leveraged and fought over down the years.

Film is told from the POV of Argentine Admiral Emilio Massera, played by Garcia Bernal, who, as a mastermind of Argentina’s Dirty War, was responsible for thousand of other bodies disappearing in Argentina. Denis Lavant (“Holy Motors”), Imanol Arias (“Paper Birds”) and Daniel Fanego (“Betibu”) complete the cast. Aguero’s debut, screened at Cannes’ 2008 Directors’ Fortnight, “77 Doronship” at the 15th Films in Progress and San Sebastian’s New Directors section.

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Sold by Shoreline, produced by “The Maid’s” Forastero, Brahm’s “Roman’s Circuit” portrayed a neuropsychologist who is much better understanding the mysteries of the human mind than those of the human heart. In equally ironic tenor, “The Sex Life of Plants” turns on a woman in love with a man who no longer exists, her sharp-witted husband before an accident renders him a dullard. Brahm and Franco Valsecchi, produce, along with doc-director-turned-producer Maite Alberdi (“Tea Time”) at Escala Humana.

With a larger focus than is sometimes the case on new or lesser-known talent, the 27th Films in Progress will also showcase “The City Where I’m Getting Old.” Produced by Luana Melgaço and directed by Marilia Rocha, both members of the Minas Gerais Teia film collective – Melgaco also produced “Swirl” – Rocha’s fiction feature debut relates the deep friendship between two Portuguese girls in Brazil, one of whom wants to return home.

The directorial debut of Lorenzo Vigas, “From Afar” turns on a dentist, who was abandoned by his father and one night takes home a small-time thug. Chile’s Alfredo Castro, star or co-star of all Pablo Larrain’s movies – including “Tony Manero” and “Post Mortem,” “No” and Berlin 2015 Grand Jury Winner “The Club” – plays the dentist in his first outing outside his native Chile.

Carlos Reygadas’ producer Mantarraya Producciones, which won Cannes best director award two years running with “Post Tenebras Lux” and “Heli,” co-produces debutant Joaquin del Paso’s “Maquinaria Panamerica,” the tale of a heavy machinery factory which seems to have survived with very little change down the years until it is suddenly plunged into crisis. Story, at least on paper, carries a large allegorical resonance for Mexico.

Films in Progress also features “Los Nadie,” another debut, here by Colombian first-timer Juan Sebastian Mesa Bedoya, a story of fraternal love – and hate and broken promises – between five friends, who are street artists.

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