SAN SEBASTIAN — Adrian Biniez’s anticipated “The Waves,” “A Great Dragon,” Jaime Osorio’s follow-up to “El Paramo,” and first-time Venezuelan director Gustavo Rondon’s “La familia” are three of the six titles at the year’s San Sebastian’s Films in Progress pix-in-post competition.
Also in the mix: Alvaro Aponte-Centeno’s “Silence of the Wind,” Santiago Esteves’ “Rey’s Education” and Alexandra Latishev Salazar’s “Medea.”
A twice-a-year competition, taking place in March at the Toulouse Cinelatino Rencontres and at September’s San Sebastian, Films in Progress runs Sept. 19-21, parallel to San Sebastian’s Europe-Latin America Co-Production Forum, the Spanish fest’s other big industry event.
“The Waves,” the third feature from Biniez, and a co-production between Uruguay’s Mutante Cine and Germany’s Pandora Film Produktion, turns on a Montevideo messenger, in his mid-thirties, who goes to a beach, dives into the sea and ends up on other beaches in other summers of his youth, revisiting the friends, relations and loves whose summers together have shaped his life.
Produced by Diana Bustamante at Colombia’s Burning Blue in co-production with Dynamo, producer of “The Hidden Face,” and the line-producer on “Narcos,” “A Great Dragon” is directed by Osorio whose acclaimed debut “El Paramo,” a social-issue genre film, was energetically sold by Wild Bunch. It continues Osorio’s examination of man’s warped-vision inner violence in the tale of park warden battling – in his own eyes at least – to suppress his inner monster.
Set up at Venezuela’s La Pandilla, the feature debut of Gustavo Rondon is co-produced by Venezuelan companies Peliculas Prescindibles and Factor RH Producciones and Norway’s Dag Hoel Filmprduksjon, having won a $51,000 award by the Norwegian South Film Fund.
Also backed by France’s Amiens Festival Screenplay Development Fund, the Caracas-set “The Family” follows Andres, a 35-year-old father, and his 12-year-old son Pedro who flee their the working district after the son accidentally kills a young thief.
“Silence of the Wind,” teaming Puerto Rico’s Quenepa Producciones with France’s Promenade Films and the Dominican Republic’s Balsie Guanabana Macuto, tells the story of a fisherman who takes over the family business, human trafficking, when his sister is murdered.
First conceived as an eight-seg TV mini-series that won a fiction contest at Argentina’s Television Digital Abierta, cop thriller-drama “Rey’s Education” focuses on the relationship between a 14-year-old boy, Reynaldo Galindez, “Rey,” and a retired security guard.
The feature film of Costa Rican distaff helmer Alexandra Latishev Salazar, produced by director-producer Paz Fabrega whose “Cold Seawater” won a Rotterdam Tiger Award in 2010, “Medea” addresses issues such as pregnancy and parents-daughter relationship, chronicling the life of a 25-year-old university student girl.
A must-attend gathering for the Latin American film industry, Films in Progress attracts a large number of sales agents, led by a substantial French contingent who seeks to multi-task at San Sebastian, checking out new titles at Films in Progress, taking meetings with producers from its Co-Production Forum and gaining profile for their Toronto Festival titles.
San Sebastian 2016’s Films in Progress frames a higher number of lesser-known directors than in some past editions, But select filmmakers at Films in Progress sometimes go on to almost immediate celebrity such as Guatemalan Jayro Bustamante, whose feature “Ixcanul” was acquired at 2014’s San Sebastian by Vicente Canales’ Film Factory. It subsequently won the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer prize at the 2015 Berlinale and sold over all the world.
John Hopewell contributed to this article
FILMS IN PROGRESS, SAN SEBASTIAN 2016
“The Family,” (Gustavo Rondon Cordova, Venezuela, Chile, Norway)
“A Great Dragon,” (Jaime Osorio Marquez, Colombia)
“Medea,” (Alexandra Latishev Salazar, Costa Rica, Chile)
“Rey’s Education,” (Santiago Esteves, Argentina)
“Silence of the Wind” (Alvaro Aponte-Centeno, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, France)
“The Waves,” (Adrian Biniez, Uruguay, Argentina)