Ventana Sur’s Blood Window sidebar for projects and films in progress has been a standout event on the Latin horror calendar since its launch in 2013, and is one of the Buenos Aires market’s most popular sections.
In the following years, it has become a key two-way conduit between Latin American and international festivals and box offices.
To that end, one of Blood Window Director Javier Fernández’s primary focuses for this year’s seventh edition is to “continue promoting our collaboration with fantastic international film festivals and industry events,” he explained to Variety ahead of the December event.
This year’s Blood Window Spotlight on International Projects includes five works brought to Buenos Aires by the Bucheon Korea International Fantastic Film Festival (Bifan), Sitges Catalunya Fantastic Film Festival and Bif-Market from the Brussels Fantastic Film Festival and Nordic Genre Invasion.
Three of the selected projects are features: Norway’s “Alpha X” (Nordic Genre Invasion), Austria-Germany co-production “Recurse” (Bifan Festival) and Chile’s “Evasion” (Sitges). Two are Belgian TV series: “Unseen” and the popular Netflix series now in its third season, “Unit 42.”
This year’s Blood Window WIP section will screen eight recently finished or post-production features – two more than last year – and 15 project pitches.
A few potential standouts from this year’s works in progress include:
“The Containment,” from Jack and Yossy Zagha Kababie, which participated as a project at Blood Window and Bifan in 2018. In the film, a young girl is possessed by a sinister being. After the girl, her mother, traditional medicine and an exorcism all fail to remove the demon, a nun is called in who suggests something even worse than possession has occurred.
From Brazil, Rodrigo Aragão’s “The Cemetery of Lost Souls,” follows Jorge, a young man tormented by a strange dream. On a work trip, Jorge and a group of artists are attacked by a group of religious radicals and trapped in an old cemetery replete with bloodthirsty creatures.
From last year’s Blood Window projects lab, Santiago Fernandez’s “Vurdalak Blood” takes place in the uncertain hours after a vampire hunt when it’s unclear if the hunter has himself been turned into a creature of the night. Will his family find out in time, or will their sentiment make them easy prey for the novice nightwalker? Natalia, his teenage daughter, ends up proving that her father has become a vampire just when her brother is abandoning her to her fate and the night threatens to arrive.
Having previously pitched at Cannes’ Blood Window Showcase and Sitges’ Coming Soon as a project, Santiago Alvarado Ilarri’s “Menendez: The Day of the Lord” pulls Menéndez, a retired priest who’s lost his faith, back into his old line of work and a world he’d hoped never to see again.
Christian Ponce’ Argentine production “History of the Occult” was a hit project in 2017, pitching at Blood Window, Frontiers – another Cannes-backed genre event from Belgium- and Montreal’s Fantasia. The film turns on a “60 Minutes”-style program and the journalists working to break the story of a dark magic government conspiracy.
Rodrigo Bellott’s U.S.-Bolivia co-production “Blood Red Ox,” Valentín Javier Diment’s “The Attachment” from Argentina, Lucía Vassallo’s “Exquisite Corpse,” a 3-way co-production between Argentina, Spain and Brazil fill out the Blood Window WIP section.
Works in progress films, as always coordinated by San Sebastian Festival director José Luis Rebordinos, compete for a series of post-production and P&A prizes.
Two features will premiere at this year’s Blood Window, both having participated in past editions as projects or works in progress.
“Skull – The Mask,” from Kapel Furman and Armando Fonseca, took part in this year’s Cannes’ Blood Window Showcase. The Brazil-U.S. co-production is the story of a military experiment gone wrong when an ancient mask’s mystical powers are unlocked. A Sao Paolo bloodbath ensues.
“Luz: The Flower of Evil,” from Colombia’s Juan Diego Escobar Alzate turns on a preached in a rural mountain community who, with his three daughters, begins to question the origins of God, the nature of love and personal freedom.
This year’s Blood Window Project Lab features Florencia Dupont’s “Aracne,” profiled by Variety in August when it pitched at Chile’s Sanfic and won the first-ever Morbido Festival Award; Wanda Berrio’s dream-themed “REM Phase”; Sabrina Tozatti Greve’s “The Basement,” already partially-backed by Cinema do Brasil and a participant at a number of international labs; another Sanfic participant in Paulette Lecaros’ “Ancestra,” “The Blue Ark” from Cristobal Jodorowsky, son of legendary Chilean filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky, and Brazilian director Rodrigo Aragão’s semi-autobiographical “Mud Tales,” a meta take on horror filmmaking.
Ventana Sur runs Dec. 2-6.
BLOOD WINDOW 2019
WORKS IN PROGRESS
“The Containment,” (Jack Zagha Kababie, Yossy Zagha Kababie, Mexico)
“The Cemetery of Lost Souls,” (Rodrigo Aragão, Brazil)
“Vurdalak Blood,” (Santiago Fernandez, Argentina, Mexico)
“Skull – The Mask,” (Kapel Furman, Armando Fonseca, Brazil, U.S.A.)
“History of the Occult,” (Christian Ponce, Argentina)
“Blood Red Ox,” (Rodrigo Bellott, U.S.A., Bolivia)
“The Attachment,” (Valentín Javier Diment, Argentina)
“Exquisite Corpse,” (Lucía Vassallo, Argentina, Spain, Brazil)
WORLD & MARKET PREMIERES
“Menendez: The Day of the Lord,” (Santiago Alvarado Ilarri, Mexico, Spain)
“Luz: The Flower of Evil,” (Juan Diego Escobar, Colombia)
“Aracne,” (Florencia Dupont, Chile)
“REM Phase,” (Wanda Berrio, Colombia)
“Huesera,” (Michelle Garza Cervera, Mexico)
“Ancestra,” (Paulette Lecaros, Chile)
“The Blue Ark,” (Cristobal Jodorowsky Trumblay, Mexico)
“Dysphoria,” (Imanol Ortiz López, Spain, Argentina)
“Mud Tales,” (Rodrigo Aragão, Brazil)
“Inevitable,” (Fercks Castellani, Argentina)
“Host of Evil,” (Federico Finkielstain, Argentina)
“The Within,” (Gianpiero Varda Gonzales, Peru)
“Bacaray,” (Eduardo Granadsztejn, Uruguay)
“Deviant,” (Daniel M. Caneiro, Spain)
“The Basement,” (Sabrina Tozatti Greve, Brazil)
“The Last Zombie,” (Martin Basterretche, Argentina)
“What the Waters Left,” (Matías Salinas, Argentina, Italy, New Zealand)
SPOTLIGHT ON INTERNATIONAL PROJECTS
Nordic Genre: “Alpha X,” (Reinert Kiil, Norway)
Bifan Festival: “Recurse,” (Lucas Vossoughi, Artur Golczewski, Austria, Germany)
Sitges Pitchbox: “Evasion,” (Cristián Jiménez, Chile, Spain)
Bif-Market Series: “Unseen,” (Geoffrey Enthoven, Belgium)
Bif-Market Series: “Unit 42,” (Hendrik Moonen, Belgium)