Buzzed-up documentary projects such as “Inside Myself I’m Dancing,” “The Flare” and “Nonmoral Upbringing” were among winners at Mar del Plata’s 2nd Mardoc.Lab, a move to foster the internationalization of Argentine documentary projects, whether by overseas co-production, or distribution, innovating new business models.”
The lab also provides an opportunity for industry audiences to learn more about 24 projects which have previously received the Development Award (“Premio al Desarrollo”) from Argentina’s INCAA Film-TV Agency.
Of the 24 films participating, 10 were awarded 50% of their production costs, as well as an international flight to attend a future documentary event.
Of dock-features benefitting from good word-of-mouth at Mardoc.Lab, part of the festival’s Film.Ar umbrella, “Inside Myself I’m Dancing,” from Leandro Koch follows a cameraman who invents a documentary as an excuse to travel across Ukraine for a girl. Along the way, he discovers aspects of his grandparent’s culture, and begins filming musicians who represent the last link to that generation.
“The Flare,” is a globe trotting expedition for information on electricity, born from afternoons spent at the bar killing time during black-outs. The film investigates historical black-outs, and what might happen if a solar flare were to hit the planet today.
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In “Nonmoral Upbringing,” Jorge Leandro Colás uses the medical practice of two doctors who employ a non-moral perspective when treating patients, to ask questions that go beyond simply good or evil, right or wrong.
Also spoken of well, Gabriel Zaragoza’s “Mirrors of Nature” focuses on experimental musician Ernestro Romera, and the high-tech, man-made rig of synthesizers and microphones he uses to record nature,and create a theoretically infinite symphony of music composed by nature itself.
Of other MarDoc.Lab winners, Laura Tusi’s “Argenta Preservation Society” follows Hugh Elliot, who used money from the sale of his family’s land in Argentina to build a hydroelectric power plant at a commune in Canada, which has sustained the community for half a century.
Alfonso Gastiaburo works extensively in TV, but presented his latest feature doc “Maize Daughters,” at this year’s Lab. The film follows a white midwife immersed in Tzotzil culture, who uses the child-birthing process as fodder in the fight against gender-based violence.
With “Jujuy Native and Metalhead,” director Fernando Romanazzo tells the tale of a group of four native metalheads who look to start their own music festival as a means to fight against cultural discrimination within their own community.
In Florencia de Mugica’s “The Excuse of the American Dream,” the filmmaker looks at a long-distance relationship between a mother who emigrated to Miami in 2002, and her daughter who stayed in Argentina. The film focuses on the estrangement which occurs with distance, in spite of modern technology.
“The Girls,” from Julieta Sans, follows two teenagers living in very distinct rural areas, but both looking to the future. Each must soon decide if that future is in the home they know and love, or if their destiny is farther away in a big city.
Diego Lumerman rounds out the winners with “Patagonia 1900.” The film revisits the turn of the 20th century and famous gringo expat Martin Sheffield, who witnessed a living plesiosaur in the region’s southern lakes. The event established the myth of Nahuelito, Argentina’s equivalent to the Loch Ness Monster.
2017 MARDOC.LAB WINNING FILMS
“Inside Myself I’m Dancing” (Leandro Koch)
“Argenta Preservation Society” (Laura Tusi)
“Nonmoral Upbringing”(Jorge Leandro Colás)
“Maize Daughters” (Alfonso Gastiaburo)
“Jujuy Native and Metalhead” (Fernando Romanazzo)
“The Excuse of the American Dream” (Florencia de Mugica)
“The Girls” (Julieta Sans)
“The Flare” (Alejandra Almirón)
“Mirrors of Nature” (Gabriel Zaragoza)
“Patagonia 1900” (Diego Lumerman)