Argentina has a history of making and consuming genre films at a rate that is among the most prolific in Latin America and the country’s cinephiles aren’t picky when it comes to where they get their fix from. Good for them then that their international tastes look to be well represented at this year’s Blood Window Beyond the Window pitching sessions at Ventana Sur, Latin America’s biggest mart-meet.
As the supply and demand for genre films have grown, so too has Blood Window. This year, for the first time, the European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation has announced an award for the Best Latin American Fantastic Film of the Year, to be presented in Buenos Aires.
“We celebrate with enthusiasm the creation of this award. We believe that this initiative, developed in collaboration between the EFFFF and Blood Window, will help strengthen the bonds between the Latin American genre films community and the European Fantastic Film Festivals family,” Javier Fernández, Blood Window director, said of the new prize.
He added: “I have no doubts that the continuity of this alliance will foster the discovery of new emerging talents in the fantastic film genre.”
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This international reach-stretching is also represented in the event’s Spotlight on International Project, where two Catalan films from Sitges’ pitchbox will be presented. Additionally, the Nordic Genre Invasion section will feature a Finnish film set in Argentina’s Buenos Aires.
There is still plenty of room for local genre this year, however, as six of the 19 films featuring at the pitching session are produced or co-produced by the host nation: Dystopian psychological thriller “The Eternal White” with Brazil: cop-free whodunnit “Expansives,” with Spain; creature-thriller “Night Belongs to Animals,” with Chile; literary fantasy “The Muglur,” with Mexico; while the unintended consequences drama “Walichu,” and ghost story “Nocturnal,” are both completely Argentine productions. Other countries sending films to the sessions are Uruguay Puerto Rico, Colombia and Finland.
This year’s competition is large and fierce, but here are a few titles worth keeping an eye on:
“The Muglur,” Lucila Las Heras, Argentina, Mexico
Emmy-nominated writer-director Lucila Las Heras returns to Beyond the Window having taken home INCAA’s Blood Window prize for her short film “The Open Window,” in 2015. This time around, she is presenting her first feature, “The Muglur.” The film fits well into the evolving zeitgeist of Latin American genre with many of this year’s features crossing into the realms of science fiction and fantasy. In the case of “The Muglur,” Las Heras tells the story of a tortured writer who gets help from a mystical literary invention come to life, but at what cost?
“The Beast,” David Casademunt, Spain
From Blood Window’s Spotlight on International, Barcelona’s David Casademunt brings to Buenos Aires a cabin in the woods horror-thriller, “The Beast.” In a lost cabin in the middle of nowhere, a mother and her son see how a chilling presence that watches them from the horizon is getting a little closer every day.
“Manslaughter in Buenos Aires,” Marko Mäkilaakso, Finland
Nordic Noir is making its way to Argentina’s capital with “Manslaughter in Buenos Aires.” The horror-comedy follows a washed-up Finnish glam-metal band which is sent a sinister invitation to come play a show by a group of feminists with ulterior motives. The partnering of Finland and Argentina, two of the international world’s most-interesting nations for genre filmmaking, seems a match made in heaven… or perhaps somewhere else.
Ventana Sur and Blood Window Beyond the Window run Nov. 27-Dec 1.
BEYOND THE WINDOW PITCHING SESSIONS
“The Eternal White,” (Christoph Behl, Argentina, Brazil)
“Expansives,” (Ramiro Garcia Bogliano, Argentina, Spain)
“Marlon Brando, Whiskey, Zombies and Other Apocalypses,” (Paulo Biscaia Filho, Brazil)
“Operation Sled,” (Gabriel Guzmán Sánchez, Mexico)
“The Arm,” (Ian Abé, Brazil)
“Night Belongs to Animals,” (Santiago Reale, Argentina, Chile)
“Collapse,” (Bernardo Antonaccio, Uruguay)
“I Love Zombies,” (César Oropeza, Henry Rivero, Colombia)
“The Muglur,” (Lucila Las Heras, Argentina, Mexico)
“Walichu,” (Adrián Gastón Fares, Argentina)
“Forest Spirits,” (Florencia Dupont, Chile)
“6400 ASA,” (Michael Milies Garcia, Chile)
“The Containment,” (Jack Zagha, Mexico)
“Satoru,” (Ray Figueroa, Puerto Rico)
“Nocturnal,” (Gonzalo Calzada, Argentina)
“The Song of the Day,” (M.M. Izidoro, Brazil)
SPOTLIGHT ON INTERNATIONAL
“The Beast,” (David Casademunt, Spain)
“Calypso Nova,” (Aitor Garay, Spain)
NORDIC GENRE INVASION
“Manslaughter in Buenos Aires,” (Marko Mäkilaakso, Finland)