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Blood Window Showcase Brings Latin American Genre to Cannes

Latin America’s premier genre market has matured over the years in content and quality, and will present a selection of features and works-in-progress to demonstrate that growth

Blood Window, Argentina’s rapidly growing Latin American genre film market, part of Buenos Aires’ Ventana Sur meet-mart, will hold a showcase at Cannes Festival’s Cannes Film Market from March 11 – 14. 

Seven works in progress, currently in post-production, will be presented as part of Upcoming Fantastic Films, where ten-minute clips will accompany the presentations. Three finished films will also screen, aimed at representing the best of recent genre Latin American genre filmmaking, with two more participating in the Market Screenings.

Although Blood Window’s beginnings are steeped in blood and gore, the current body of films representing the market goes far beyond the traditional slasher flicks Latin America has nearly perfected, with films of fantasy, science fiction  and a slew of different thrillers now participating – an indication of the festival’s maturation and growth.

The three features which will screen at Cannes come from Uruguay and Argentina, Mexico, the latter two countries with genre bloodlines among the most respected in the world.

Demián Rugna’s “Terrified” was nominated as 2017’s best Argentinian film at the Mar del Plata Film Festival, and won a festival award at Montevideo. The gory but upscale feature follows a paranormal detective looking to solve supernatural mysteries. Its presence at Cannes is endorsed by Spain’s Sitges Festival, one of the largest genre-focused celebrations in the world.

A buzzed-up title at November’s Blood Window WIP, “The Tenants,” from Mexico’s Chava Cartas, turns on a couple who move to a new neighborhood to escape a past trauma. Try as they might, mysterious circumstances strain their relationship, and new adversities arise. Mexican distribution for the film is handled by Televisa’s Videocine.

London-based Fright Fest festival, one of the English-speaking world’s highest-profile genre gatherings, has endorsed Santiago Ventura’s Uruguayan feature “Grey in the Eyes,” a dystopian thriller set in an achromatic world where a 12 year old girl ends up with a briefcase full of highly addictive drugs that allows people to see colors.

As might be expected from the market’s WIP section, the bulk of participants come from Argentina. From the Upcoming Fantastic Films section, the Onetti Brothers will introduce “Abrakadabra,” their fourth feature, and the highly-anticipated final film in the Giallo trilogy of “Sonno Profondo” (2013) and “Francesca” (2015). Gabriel Grieco’s “Transgenesis” pits a down-and-out pilot against a village of people whom he has been unknowingly poisoning while crop-dusting. “The White Devil,” from Ignacio Rogers, is a road trip movie that finds its would-be vacationers trapped in a hostile town, victims of a local legend; Pedro Cristiani’s “Deus Irae” follows a group of exorcists that fight the demonically possessed on their own terms, using whatever means necessary; finally, “Rock, Paper and Scissor” is a familial psychological thriller from Macarena Gracía Lenzi and Martín Blousson.

The two non-Argentine entries are Patricio Valladares’ Chilean feature “Embryo,” which follows a couple on a camping trip from hell, and the Brazilian “Black Forest” from Rodrigo Aragão, the tale of a mysterious book that bestows great power and wealth to whoever possess it, but is also capable of releasing a great evil into the world.

Two films in the showcase will have Cannes Market Screenings, Gustavo Hernández’s “You Shall Not Sleep,” follows a theater cast that take method acting too far when they experiment with insomnia. It is an Argentina, Spain and Uruguay co-production. The other, a Chile-Mexico co-pro, Guillermo Amoedo’s “The Inhabitant,” turns on a break-in with unexpected consequences. Both films are sold by Argentina’s FilmSharks Intl., a premier force in the Ibero-American sales game.

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