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Chile’s Sanfic Announces Works in Progress Participants (EXCLUSIVE)

Alejando Almendras' "Hra" headlines seven LatAm films which will participate in the SANFIC Industria section in hopes of earning prizes of post-production support and future festival berths

Sanfic Announces Latin American Works In
Stanislav Honzik

Chile’s Santiago-based international film festival, Sanfic, has shared with Variety its list of seven films set to participate in the 2018 Sanfic Industria Latin American Works in Progress section.

The films will compete for the following prizes: The Chemistry Award – $50,000 worth of post-production services towards color correction in HD or 2k resolution; the Avid Media Composer Licensing Software Award – a license for perpetual access to the Avid Media Composer post-production editing software valued at $1,800; Yagan Films Award – sound post-production services valued at $23,000; and the new-to-this-year Malaga Festival Award – guaranteed participation at the 2019 Malaga Festival to be held next March.

A highly-anticipated entry at this year’s WIP is the latest from Chile’s Alejandro Fernández Almendras. Produced by Jirafa Films in Chile, one of the country’s very top film outfits, Paris-based Arizona Films and Film & Roll in the Czech Republic, “Hra” (“The Play”) tells the tale of a small-town Czech playwright, Peter, who makes a series of inadvisable decisions in his private life that begin to impose on the work being done in the theater.

“It is a very intimate, personal film,” Almendras says, “in which an impressive group of Czech actors and industry professionals have put their trust in a South American director to try to make a film like the ones that the masters of Eastern European cinema gave us in the ‘60s. It’s an ambitious challenge, but made with affection, respect, and a huge effort from everyone.”

Bolivia’s entry to the selection comes in Carlos Piñeiro’s debut feature, “Sirena” (“Mermaid”). Socavón Cine produces this tale of an engineer from La Paz who drowns in Lake Titicaca. When those close to him set off to reclaim the man’s body, they find the indigenous Amayra people who recovered it unwilling to let it go for fear of warding off a bountiful harvest.

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“Te Mueres” (“You Die”), an Argentine production from debut director Alex del Río, should appeal to Chilean audiences’ taste for high-quality darkly humor films: i.e. Pablo Larraín’s “The Club” and “Tony Manero,” or more recently Tomás Alzamora’s “Little White Lie.” In it, three women play a game in which they must try to get a photo of themselves with a group of condors.

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“What prompted me to make this film was the human trait of cruelty,” del Río explained. “I wanted it to be entertaining though, so the black comedy genre allows the audience to process villains without the weight of taboos.”

Based on the book by the same name, Sebastián Muñoz’s “The Prince” is a homoerotic tale set in the ‘70s which focuses on Jaime, a twenty-year-old narcissist who ends up in jail after he stabs his best friend in a passionate outburst.

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“’The Prince’ portrays society of the ‘70s through a history of violence, love and sex among prisoners,” Muñoz told Variety. “It’s a captivating story which inspired me to build its universe, its colors and architecture.”

“La nave del olvido,” (“The Ship of Oblivion”) from director Nicole Ruíz is one of the domestic titles in competition. In it, a 70-year-old rural woman loses her husband and for the first time discovers her sexuality and freedom through her love for another woman.

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“This is a film which talks about freedom, the possibility of choosing and being what one is, and escaping one’s social role at an age unaccepted by society,” according to Ruíz. “It’s an intimate film which shows the world of a character who, in the search for her freedom, leaves what she knew behind and is left completely alone.”

Director Acelo Ruiz Villanueva’s Mexican documentary “Oblatos, el vuelo que surcó la noche” tells the true story of three communist guerrillas who, in the ‘70s, escaped the maximum security Oblate Prison.

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“My interest in this story comes from knowing who the legendary guerrillas were that achieved this feat, and how they had done it,” the director told Variety. “But, along the way I discovered the story of a generation of young people who took up arms to change Mexico.”

“The Border,” from director David David is produced by Colombia’s Garabato Cine. It follows Diana Ipuana, a pregnant indigenous woman living with her husband and brother on the Colombia-Venezuela border, and changes to her life after tragedy strikes.

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“Diana is like an oak in the desert,” David explained to Variety, “a woman trying to stay afloat in the middle of a desolate panorama. The film addresses this challenge in a context in which daily life is complicated by the diplomatic frictions that occur between the political leaders of Colombia and Venezuela.”

2018 Sanfic Latin American Works in Progress Selection

“The Prince,” (Sebastián Muñoz, Chile, Argentina)

“Hra,” (Alejandro Fernandéz Almendras, Chile, France, Czech Republic, South Korea)

“The Border,” (David David, Colombia)

“La nave del olvido,” (Nicol Ruíz, Chile)

“Oblatos, el vuelo que surcó la noche,” (Acelo Ruiz Villanueva, Mexico)

“Sirena,” (Carlos Piñeiro, Bolivia)

“Te mueres,” (Alex del Río, Argentina)