GUADALAJARA — “Acapulco Golden” and “Nudo Mixteco,” two compelling narratives which say much about the shifting gains and roiling challenges of empowerment in a troubled Latin American world took major and multiple plaudits at the 13th Guadalajara C0-Production Meeting, one of the region’s longest-established industry events.
The near explosion of prize-giving companies at the event meant that a slew of other feature projects also reaped awards, consisting of multifarious development, production and post-production services from companies in Mexico, the U.S., Colombia and Chile.
No film won more prizes on Tuesday night in Guadalajara than “Acapulco Golden,” from Pablo Delgado, whose debut “The Tears,” established him as an artfilm auteur to track. One of three awards was from Epigmenio Ibarra’s Argos, consisting of production or post-production services to the value of Pesos 500,000 to Pesos 3 million ($25,000 to $154,000). Della’s second feature, “Acapulco Golden” also won 80 hours of color correction from Mexico’s El Taller and Pesos 350,000 ($18,000) in filming equipment from CTT.
At a time when the U.S. government is extending a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, “Acapulco Golden” gains in political heft by depicting the eventually deep bonding between Rosa, a pretty young Mexican housekeeper, and Charles, a once-wealthy middle-aged American alcoholic. Gaining social depth, it is set in a once glamorous Acapulco that is now awash in cartel violence and unemployment. Likewise, the production builds bridges between the two countries in its production by Gabriel Ridaura at Mexico’s Cinematográfica Panorama and Eva Ruiz de Chavez at L.A.’s Entertainment Visual Artist, who have now created a joint production company.
“Rosa represents a young Mexican working class that is waking up and looking for options in life,” Delgado told Variety at Guadalajara. “She pushes herself a lot but discovers she doesn’t have to put herself under so much pressure,” he added.
“The prizes will help us put the project together and also act as a validation for the international market where we are looking for foreign partners,” Ruiz de Chavez said, adding that the film is “very important politically right now, joining Mexico and the U.S in a peaceful way,” and that the filmmakers are looking for U.S collaborators.
Always a frontrunner at the Meeting, given the caché of its producer, Lucia Carreras, “Nudo Mixteco” won the biggest and newest award of the night, the Cinema 229 Prize, announced out of the blue at the prize ceremony by Mexican producer Marco Antonio Salgado.
Offered by a broadband alliance of companies, headed by Cinema 226 partners El Chilito Enmascarado, BCN Producciones and Argos Cine, the award guarantees completion financing from Cinema 226, Salgado said. It also takes in a scholarship to Chile’s Residencia Laboratorio Audiovisual Valdivia, audio services from Encore Sound, image post-production from Cinema Maquina, Cero Post VFX work, and music oversight and recording from Panoram.
These awards went to one of the highest-profile projects at the meet, a three-part fiction drama which attempts to advance the depiction of indigenous women showing the doubts and fears of three women – a mother, a lesbian and a woman making a fresh start in life – as they battle for more freedom in their lives and sexuality. Directing “Nudo Mixteco” is actress Angeles Cruz, star of Carreras’ Toronto premiering “Tamara and the Lady Bug”; writer-director Carreras (“Leap Year,” “See You Dad”) produces with Lola Ovando and Cruz.
“Nudo Mixteco” shared Pesos 1.5 million ($77,000) in production and post-production services from Mexico City’s Estudios Churrubusco with Adolfo Davila’s “Violent Butterflies,” a drama-revenge tale portrait of Mexico’s disaffected youth produced by Monica Lozano, producer of “Amores perros” and “Instructions Not Included.“
Spain’s young vet producer David Matamoros at Zentropa Spain took the first director’s plaudit of his life, winning another Argos award with co-director Angeles Hernandez for his directorial debut “Isaac.” A drama about two couples who relationships evolve through a same-sex affair and surrogate motherhood, “Isaac” is an example of Spain’s burgeoning New Queer Cinema where LGBT sexuality neither defines characters nor is the issue really at stake in the movie.
Brazilian Mykaela Plotkin walked off with a third Argos award for “Miladies,” about two women friends from youth, now senior citizens but experiencing unrealized desires, some sexual. “Entierro,” from DoP-turned-director Maura Morales Bergmann nabbed two prizes, including image post-production work from Valvula Films.
Of further awards, Imaginative Exposure, a branded content specialist, will offer consultancy to German Bettina Blümner’s “Hello, My Friend,” a probing story about sexual tourism in Cuba which is already the recipient of a Wim Wenders Grant from Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia film fund.
Amid warm applause, the Residencia Laboratorio Audiovisual Valdivia gave a second bursary to “Todas las horas del dia,” from Honduras’ Enrique René Mencía Medrano, about a mother searching for her son’s murderer; Colombia’s 2.33 Digital and Sonata Films adjudicated color correction and a foley pre-mix to “Shock Labor,” from Cuba’s Marcos Díaz Sosa, which, set in 1988, centers on a Cuban female skeet shooter who becomes a celebrity but prefers the simple life on a farm. Argentine Fernando Musa’s “The Rules of the Boxer” took home a Moving Market Runner-allotted Script Clinic consultancy for the story of a boxer who falls for his coach’s daughter.