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7th Bogota Audiovisual Market: Bigger and Busier

Busy BAM market closes as fledgling IndieBO film fest opens with Berlinale winner ‘Junction 48’ on Thursday

BOGOTA – The 7th Bogota Audiovisual Market (BAM) wrapped Friday [July 15] after five days of well-organized meetings, talks, screenings and fiestas for some 1,500 participants and more than a hundred international buyers perusing up to 191 local titles in the burgeoning market.

The market overlapped on its fourth day with the Bogota indie film fest IndieBO, run by Paola Turbay, Alejandro Estrada and programmer Juan Carvajal, who have expanded the festival run to 10 days (July 14-24) and opened Thursday with Berlinale Panorama Audience awardee “Junction 48” by Udi Aloni.

A slew of prizes in cash and kind were parceled out to various filmmakers on BAM’s last day, led by “Embrace of the Serpent” first Assistant Director Claudia Pedraza’s directorial debut, “La Sed,” a dystopian drama set to shoot in Colombia’s Tatacoa and La Guajira deserts next year, which snagged the Premio EFD comprised of film equipment valued at $20,000 from the post production house. “La Sed,” produced by Gerylee Polanco and penned by Camila Salamanca, has also been chosen to participate in the Rotterdam Film Fest along with Fernando Lopez’s “Siameses” and Roberto Flores’ “El Paraiso.”

Felipe Guerrero’s “Oscuro Animal” clinched a distribution deal from the Instituto Distrital de las Artes valued at nearly $4,000.

The 64th San Sebastian Film Fest has selected Nicolas Rincon’s “Tantas Almas,” Jorge Navas’ “The Elf,” produced by Diego Ramirez of 64A Films, and docu “Dopamina,” helmed by Natalia Almario and produced by Oscar Ruiz Navia, to participate in the festival’s Industry Club.

Post-production prize Premio Cinecolor went to docu “La Intromision” by Oscar Campo, and Salomon Simhon’s “El Rumor del Astracan,” produced by Cristina Villar.

Senal Colombia chose to commit broadcasting and marketing support to four – instead of two – docus this year, including buzz title “Amazona” by Clare Weiskopf, also selected for the Roving Colombian Film Fest; “Yo Lucas” by Lucas Maldonado Loboguerrero; “Home” by Josephine Landertinger Forero and “Retornan” by Sebastan Mejia, which also won the Sonata Films award.

In terms of breaking news, “Embrace of the Serpent” producer Cristina Gallego has confirmed that the Oscar-nommed pic’s producers from Argentina, MC Productions and Buffalo Films, will be boarding Ciro Guerra’s upcoming feature, “Birds of a Passage” (“Pajaros del Verano”). Mexico’s Pimienta Films has also boarded pic with Berlin-based Films Boutique attached as its sales agent. Budgeted at $1.8 million, “Birds” will be an easy shoot compared to “Embrace…” despite being set in the La Guajira desert.

”We shot Ciro’s “Wind Journeys” there so it’s familiar territory,” said Gallego, who is married to Guerra and has been producing all his pics. Shooting begins in February after eight weeks of pre-production. Spanning the years 1968 to 1980, the “western” will include animals and period costumes.

“We want to make artistic and original films that are accessible to the mainstream,” said Gallego.

In a previously announced deal, 64A Films Ramirez confirmed Argentina’s AZ Films had boarded “The Elf” as a co-producer, plus ambitious TV plans to produce 10 high-end TV dramas, working with international broadcasters.

Meanwhile Jhonny Hendrix of Antorcha Films, a co-producer of “La Sed” who is set to shoot his next film, “Candelaria” in Havana, Cuba next month, confirmed the August 4 Cinecolor release in Colombia of his latest pic, the mystical thriller “Saudo.” At BAM to present his latest project in development, “La Tropa,” about a sergeant who gets kidnapped just as he’s about to retire. Hendrix is looking for European, Canadian and U.S. co-producers for a $2 million budget.

Participants of this year’s Fam Trip initiative, organized annually by Proimagenes and the Colombian Film Commission, joined BAM on its last two days to meet with local producers and execs as well as tour the studios of RCN, Caracol TV and Fox TeleColombia.

Film Sharks’ Guido Rud closed a distribution deal with Cine Colombia to release Daniel Burman’s dramedy, “El Rey del Once” (“The Tenth Man”) in August.

Of BAM, Rud said: “The event is good, it lasts just the right number of days; I would come back.”

Antonio Saura of Madrid-based world sales company Latido Films concurred: “I would definitely support it, there are really a lot of things going on. And since I came shopping and am mostly looking for projects, I think we may be working on a couple in the future that come out of BAM.”

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