Latin American women’s horror anthology “28,” Chilean Claudia Huaiquimilla’s “Riot” and titles from Mexico’s Marco Antonio Salgado and Colombia’s Contravía Films figure among 35 projects at the 7th Santiago Lab, one of the biggest industry attractions at this year’s Sanfic-Santiago Intl. Film Festival (Sanfic).
The full Sanfic lineup will be announced later today, July 31, in Santiago de Chile. Boasting a strong line this year as last in genre, the Lab’s selection announcement comes as Sanfic confirms its latest strategic partnership with another festival, a MAFF Prize which will see one fiction feature project at the Santiago Lab selected for Spain’s Malaga Fund and Co-production Event, taking place in March 2019.
The Tribeca Film Institute already chooses one documentary title for the Tribeca Film Festival’s industry space. With Colombia’s Cartagena Festival selecting one title for its Puerto Documentary Workshop, one Santiago Lab title will also segue, thanks to a CinemaChile prize, to Spain’s September San Sebastian Festival, to be moved at its industry space. Another project is invited to Guadalajara’s Ibero-American Co-production Meeting in March 2019, and a genre title to Ventana Sur’s Blood Window, its film genre forum, unspooling this December.
Directed by Chile’s Sandra Arriagada, Mexico’s Gigi Saul, and Lisi Kiesling, “28’s” fiction feature-anthology frames five short horror stories made by woman about women tapping cast and set in the five corners of Latin America. It also explores five sub-genres in a Mexican teen slasher (“Creciente”), a Chile fantasy drama (“Nueva”); an Argentine sci-fi musical (“Llena”); a Spanish psychological thriller (“Menguante”) and a Brazilian post-apocalypse survival drama (“Illunius”). Covering “the five fertile stages of women, from 11 to 55,” the tales present “five powerful protagonists that are not the classic Scream Queens or the virginal Final Girls. All are mobilizing agents of the plot,” a film presentation suggested. Chile’s Lucio Rojas, director of the recent bracing feature “Trauma,” produces “28.”
A move towards social thriller territory by Huaiquimilla, whose first feature “Mala Junta,” set against Chile’s Mapuche conflict, was nominated for two Platino Awards and scored distribution in France, “Riot” is set at a youth detention center where a riot is brewing. Awaiting their discharge, two young brothers realize that joining the riot offers them their only way out. Mariana Tejos Martignoni, whose credits include the upcoming “Enigma,” takes on production duties.
Steered by top Mexican producer Marco Antonio Salgado, executive director of Argos Cine (“Ingobernable”), “Lala” is a Mexican horror story, though not a genre movie: Teen Blanca flees from her rural town with her older sister, Lala, who suffers from mental disability, after Lala’s raped her drug-dealing brother. Guadalajara-based Rodrigo Daniel Márquez Flores makes his fiction feature debut.
Developed at the Cannes Festival’s Cinéfondation Residence and set up at Oscar Navia’s famed Colombian production house Contravía (“Crab Trap,” “Towrope”), “Tell Them Not To Kill Me” marks Santiago Lozano’s first solo feature after Locarno Filmmakers of the Present-selected “Siembra,” co-directed with Angela Osorio. Set against the background of Colombia’s civil conflict, it charts the journey of a man, Guajiro, an Afro-Colombian, to the land of the dead in the jungle. Angela Trejos produces.
But it is genre which will make the running at this year’s Santiago Lab.
One genre title, billed as an action-adventure horror movie set on Valparaiso’s counter culture scene, “Punky Force,” Chilean Victor Uribe’s debut, turns on three punk friends investigating mysterious disappearances in the city. Chile’s Okao Films and Kuko Films produce.
A Latin American talent to track after 2016 “El Eden” played Berlin’s Generation and “Daniela,” another short, screened in Cannes Official Selection, Colombia’s Andrés Ramírez short film work and feature debut “La Jauria,“ focuses on the impact on Colombia’s youth of its seemingly atavistic violence. Here, Eli, an adolescent, blinded by a desire to kill his father, kills another man by mistake. Dispatched to a juvenile detention center in the jungle, he yearns to cure his absent mother’s cancer, and, the synopsis says, the “pain that eats up her soul.”
“Casa de socorro,” from Chile’s María Paz Godoy, weighs in as a benighted cottage shock fest. “Paradoxa,” from Uruguay’s Marco Betancor and Alejandro Rocchi, has a man battling for the love of his ex girlfriend with his malignant, look-alike doppelgänger. Peru’s “Tanatopraxia” chronicles a online lynching of a man accused of rape.
Further projects, while not full-blown genre titles, do have genre beats. Emerging Chilean producer Roberto Doveris, for example, is behind Javier Sinclair’s “Adolescencia Violente,” about a teen’s exploring his same sex sexuality awhile a member of his school’s basketball team goes missing. In “Una Canción para morir,” a rock band’s reunion is overshadowed by rumors its former lead singer may not be as dead as believed; in “Yo soy Hans,” a frustrated singer is obsessed by the fateful story of a youth who ended up being killed and hacked to pieces.
Otherwise, highlighting pics in preparation from across Latin America, not just Chile, for the second year running, the 2018 Santiago Lab underscores the diversity of regional production, a sign of its growing industry maturity.
Some films chart second-chance love (“Domingo,” “El fin de la distancia”), others romantic rupture (“Puerto Viejo”) and its aftermath (“Sin Soledad”). “Una mujer quiere morir” is a mother-daughter rekindled relationship piece. Yet others have a harder social edge: In “La fiebre amarilla,” a Haitian immigrant in Chile faces charges of manslaughter; set in 1960 and based on true events, Ludmila Curi’s “O día que o morro desceu” pictures a rich lawyer and samba musician joining forces to avert mass evictions in Rio’s favelas.
Santiago Lab’s 14 doc feature projects, nine from Chile, range from visions of internment – in a prison (Valeria Hoffman and Catalina Alarcon’s “Volver a casa”), a clinic for pregnant adolescents (“Monguen”) and a psychiatric ward (“To See Is an Act”) – to visions of religious superstition (“Memoria Norte”) and celebration (“Reina madre”), portraits of near madness (“Saigon,” from Cuba’s Brandan Cerviño; “La Picada,” from Costa Rica’s Felipe Zuñiga); the empowerment (“Andá a lava los platos”) and demonization (“El viejo cuento de la bruja) of women; and investigations into the sinister past of Pinochet’s secret police (“El Plan,” “Una golondrina tras la alambrada”).
Potential standouts take in “To See Is an Act,” from Chile’s Bárbara Pestán; “Tercer Acto” (Still Stares), about a Chilean taxidermist’s battle to create a museum for blind kids; “Dear Terror,” a portrait of Luis “Terror Dias, founder of modern Dominican rock: and “House of the Rising Sun,” from Colombia’s Orlando Culzat.
Turning on Culzat’s cousin, a talented painter and hopeless cocaine base addict, “House of the Rising Son” looks set to portray his aunt’s overweening love towards her son as well as the filmmaker’s own highly ambiguous feelings towards a dysfunctional family nearly reaching rupture.
SANFIC 2018 SANTIAGO LAB PROJECTS
“28,” (Sandra Arriagada, Gigi Saul, Lisi Kiesling, Chile)
“Adolescencia Violenta,” (Javier Sinclair, Chile)
“Casa de socorro,” (María Paz Godoy Seguel, Chile)
“Diles que no me maten,” (Santiago Lozano Álvarez, Colombia)
“Domingo,” (Luciano Cares Oyarzo, Chile)
“El fin de la distancia,” (Claudio Marcone, Chile)
“Fuerza Punky,” (Victor Uribe, Chile)
“La fiebre amarilla,” (Pablo Gutiérrez, Chile)
“La jauría,” (Andrés Ramírez, Colombia)
“Lala,” (Rodrigo Daniel Márquez Flores, Mexico)
“Lima,” (Picho García, Chile)
“Motín,” (Claudia Huaiquimilla, Chile)
“O día que o morro desceu,” (Ludmila Curi, Brazil)
“Paradoxa,” (Marco Bentancor, Alejandro Rocchi, Uruguay)
“Puerto viejo,” (Nathaly Dubi Cano Reyes, Chile)
“Sin Soledad,” (Valentina Arango Villalón, Chile)
“Tanatopraxia,”(Paola Terán, Perú)
“Una canción para morir,” (Pablo Greene Flaten, Chile)
“Una mujer quiere morir,” (Constanza Figari, Chile)
“Yo soy Hans,” (Lucas Benavente, Chile)
“Andá a lavar los platos,” (Bahía Flores, Natalia Comello, Argentina)
“El Plan,” (Pablo Stephens, Chile)
“El viejo cuento de la bruja,” (Ashley Salman Herrera, Chile)
“House of the rising sun,” (Orlando Culzat, Colombia)
“La picada,” (Felipe Zúñiga, Costa Rica)
“Memoria Norte,” (Andrea Guerrero, Chile)
“Monguen,” (Antonio Caro, Chile)
“Querido Terror,” (Jaime Guerra, Dominican Republic, USA)
“Reina madre,” (Enrique Farías, Chile)
“Saigón,” (Brandán Cerviño, Cuba)
“Tercer Acto,” (Patricia Correa, Chile)
“Una golondrina tras la alambrada,” (Santiago Aldunate, Chile)
“Ver es un acto,” (Bárbara Pestán, Chile)
“Volver a casa,” (Valeria Hoffman, Catalina Alarcón, Chile)