When Variety unveiled the CDMX Film Pitchbox, a new movie project pitching forum that will take place in Mexico City on Nov. 29, organizer Filmarket Hub announced that executives from Alazraki Entertainment, Cinema 226, Cinépolis, Lemon Studios, Perro Azul and VCS Capital had already confirmed they would attend.
Since then, Dynamo, Endemol Shine Boomdog, Exile Content Studio, Fox Networks Group Latam, Piano, Sony Pictures International Productions, Traziende Films, Turner and Videocine have all confirmed they will be sending executives as well. The lineup is noteworthy in both quality and quantity for a first-time event, although Filmarket Hub has established itself as a major force in finding and promoting promising independent film and TV projects in Europe. and in 2019 has made a significant push into Latin America with first-time events at Guadalajara, and now, Mexico City.
Following the same format as its events in Madrid, London, Sitges and Guadalajara, each participating project will be given seven minutes to pitch in front of the assembled invitees in hopes of fulfilling remaining production needs.
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Focusing on Mexican fiction feature projects, CDMX Film Pitchbox will be held at Mexico City’s Cinecolor, the event’s principal partner. Cinecolor Mexico and Shalala Estudios will be awarding a prize of Pesos 500,000 ($25,000) worth of post-production image and sound-design services to the winning title.
Seven features will participate in the Pitchbox, largely dominated by female filmmakers and producers as well as female-focused themes. Comedy and horror projects are prevalent, with many of the projects exhibiting mystical aspects adapted to reflect contemporary Mexican society.
Directed by first-timer Frida Harari and co-written by Anna Tazzer, “Singles” is an all-female buddy comedy produced by Mexico-Barcelona company We Films. The story kicks off when one of a tight-knit group of childhood friends dies, leaving a mega-mansion to the other four on the condition that they live there together for a time. To inherit their newfound wealth the four friends must face issues that have pushed them apart over the years and battle a wicked stepmother intent on seeing them fail.
According to the film’s pitch, “Comic situations will take the viewer on a lighthearted journey, while also delving into themes that face a generation of women trapped in their youth, afraid for their 30s to end.”
“THE INNER ROAD”
Omar Yñigo writes and directs this mystical psychological thriller which follows Joel, a mid-20s model concerned that his wife Sofia is cheating on him. He buys a gun and heads into the desert looking for the two where he encounters a woman fleeing her husband, a shaman who sees the future and a blind man unlucky in love, each of whom impact his decision between a violent confrontation or returning home.
“The long road reflects Joel’s journey into his past, between lost memories and unresolved traumas,” explains Yñigo of his protagonist’s journey. “The deserts of Baja California will serve as the perfect dramatic arena for a character who traverses his own inner void, as arid and bleak as the natural environment.”
Co-written by producer Bernardo Pérez and director Santiago Aguirre, “Juntos” is a sci-fi thriller set to star Cassandra Ciangherotti, a five-time Mexican Academy Ariel nominated actress and recent star of Toronto Platform player “Las Niñas Bien,” Sundance Special Jury Prize-winner “Time Share” and HBO’s break-out hit series “Los Espookys.” International production company Ítaca Films’ Andrés Tagliavini also co-produces. In the film, a couple suffering the recent loss of a child must put aside their differences work together to avoid a zombie-like apocalypse.
According to the film’s promotional material, “In the background, ‘Juntos’ ends up being a love story where the monster and the post-apocalyptic environment end up complementing the couple’s development.”
Guadalajara’s Rocko D. Márquez is currently in production on his debut feature documentary “Impostor(es),” while developing his first fiction feature “Lala,” which he will bring to the Pitchbox. Backed by Mexican independent uber -producer Marco Antonio Salgado and his label Cinema226 along with Mental Revolution Films, the coming of age road movie is set in rural Mexico where Lala, a mentally disabled 24-year-old woman, is chained up in a chicken coop by her grandmother who believes her to be possessed by the devil. With the help of her sister, Lala escapes and the two seek out their mother whom they’ve not seen for years.
“LAMENTS OF THE WIND”
Alejandro Deli wrote this psychological thriller which received a special mention at this year’s Sitges Pitchbox. Lucia and Alberto’s family are suffering a variety of maladies: Depression, illness and unexplainable behaviors, with only their servants Socorro and Faust to care for them and the home. When Lucia’s sister shows up one day, she quickly realizes that the home hides a dark secret and a terrible past.
According to Deli, “Themes of loss and the supernatural are addressed in a way that stands hairs on end and reaches the depths of the heart.”
Co-written and to be directed by Andrea and Santiago Zapiain, “Socorro” is produced by Antonio Hernández Cortes at ArcMotion Films, a predominantly web-based company whose overwhelming popularity online positions it as an exciting entity to keep an eye on. When a classmate commits suicide at their graduation, Aurora runs away with her best friend Lore to her deceased grandmother’s house expecting it to be empty, only to discover that housekeeper Socorro is there. After initially indicating a desire to care for Aurora, soon Socorro’s dark magic traps the girls in a nightmare situation.
According to Andrea Zapiain, the film, “uses gore and elements of a psychological thriller while providing interesting perspective on magic in Mexico and the role of women in Mexican society.”
Filmmaker and producer Mariana González’s project has been in development for several years now, but her debut feature “Fractal,” currently in post-production, forced her to temporarily hit pause on “Terapia Familiar.” The proposed family comedy turns on Victoria, a middle-aged woman practicing a new age lifestyle in Bali, who returns to Mexico to ask her adult children for help with her business. Interests conflict and the family turns against one another when crisis forces them to put their differences aside.
González describes it as, “a family comedy, slightly dark at times, and with a tone of criticism towards the new age trend. The intention is to achieve an entertaining film in a fresh and funny way but with a meaningful background.”