MADRID – Brazilian Selton Mello’s “A Movie Life,” starring Vincent Cassel (“Black Swan”), “Attitude Test,” from Chilean producer-turned director Augusto Matte, and Colombian Juan Zapata’s English-language globetrotting love story “Butterflies” all feature at the 2016 Guadalajara Goes to Cannes, a Cannes Film Market pix-in-post showcase ranging across Latin America.
Featuring five titles in all, the May 17 work-in-progress sneak peek underscores not only the stylistic breadth of Latin American filmmaking as film-makers attempt to reach broader and new audiences.
Also playing Guadalajara Goes to Cannes is one title which went to Guadalajara’s own work-in-progress competition last month, Tomas de Leone’s “El Aprendiz,” winning $10,000 worth of counseling on securing a sales agent and festival strategy from Tom Davia’s consultancy Cinemaven.
Mello’s third feature, after “The Clown” punched exceptional B.O. for an arthouse feature in Brazil, “A Movie Life” is a rites-of-passage and family drama set in the cosy sierras of Rio Grande do Sul. Set up at Vania Catani’s Bananaeira Filmes, “A Movie Life” is co-produced by MGM Intl., and based on the novel “A Distant Father” by Antonio Skarmeta whose “Ardiente Paciencia,” another novel, inspired Michael Radford’s Academy Award-winning “The Postman.”
In a completely different vein, “Attitude Test” marks the directorial debut of Matte, a producer-partner at Chile’s Jirafa Films whose credits include Alejandro Fernandez Almendras’ Sundance and Berlin-selected “Much Ado About Nothing,” a Netflix near global acquisition. Signaling the entry into more mainstream comedy of two of Chile’s most prestigious production houses, Jirafa and Forastero (“The Maid”), the high-school comedy yet retains social point in its barbed portrayal of “college exams don’ really tst students’ intellectual capacity,” said co-director and writer, Fabrizio Copano, one of Chile’s best-known stand-up comedians-come-actor-and scribe.
Again markedly different, and a big step-up in scale for Brazil-based Colombian auteur Juan Zapata (“Simone”), “Butterflies,” shot in English between Amsterdam, Salzburg, Munich, Rio de Janeiro, Los Angeles and San Francisco. A five-way international co-production, the romantic drama shows “how to believe in love again after intense mourning,” Zapata told Variety when shooting.
Set on Argentina’s Atlantic Coast, rites-of-passage tale “El Aprendiz,” from Argentina’s Tomas de Leone, turns on an apprentice chef, who comes from a broken home.
A fifth Guadalajara Cannes title, “Nombre de Guerra: Alias Yineth,” forms part of a multimedia project which ahs already yielded “Alias Maria,” produced by Colombia’s Rhayuela Cine, which played at Cannes’ Un Certain Regard last year.
Directed by Daniela Castro and Nicolas Ordoñez, the docu-feature builds an intimate portrait of of a woman who was recruited by Colombia’s guerrilla at the age of 13 and now, at 28, works in a government reinsertion program for ex-combatants.