GUADALAJARA, Mexico — Chile came into this year’s Guadalajara Intl. Film Festival (FICG) as the guest country of honor. Once here, Luis Alejandro Pérez García’s “Piola” stomped around the Guadalajara Construye Works in Progress section like it owned the place, snatching up six of a possible 13 prizes.
After the success of Juan Caceres’ “Perro Bomba” in the same competition last year – the film scored four awards – perhaps it shouldn’t have been a surprise that another Chilean feature would perform so well this time around.
“Piola” turns on the chance interaction between three young people in moments that would be recognizable to teenagers the world around. Martin’s family is moving and he can’t be bothered to involve himself. Sol is searching for her lost dog and dealing with an unrequited romance. And Charly can’t handle his miserable job and the stresses of teenage fatherhood.
The impressive list of awards includes: Mondragon Award for sound and music, Yagan Films Award for editing and dialogue cleanup, Habanero Award for distribution and promotion, OA Sonido Award for sound editing, 1936 Award for credit sequence and design – a new award at this year’s edition, and the CineMaven Award for consultation.
CineMaven founder-CEO Tom Davia told Variety, “Here is a real, natural and honest narrative that clearly illustrates the step of transition from adolescence to adulthood which every person must go through. I know these characters; I was one of these characters once.”
The other big winner on the day was Tamae Garateguy’s “The Furies.” Already established as Argentina, if not Latin America’s, scream queen, Garateguy’s bloody love story arrived in Guadalajara as a favorite to score big, and score big it did, notching four prizes of its own on the night.
“The Furies” is a feast of color, light, music and blood which follows two young lovers: Leonidas, a young Huarpe meant to one day lead his people, and Lourdes, the daughter of a wealthy white landowner hell-bent on taking the native people’s land. After Leonidas serves a prison sentence for bogus crimes invented by Lourdes’ odious father, the couple embarks on a bloody and violent quest of vengeance against those who’ve wronged them.
The film scored the Churubusco Award for post-production services, Marketing Movie Runner Award for film analysis, 3C Films Award of cash and DCP services, and the HD Argentina Award for post-production services.
Brazil’s “Son of Ox” scored the Secuencia + Estratégica Award for branding and advertising and the Fix Award for the creation of a trailer. Haroldo Borges, well-known for his documentary filmmaking, directed the tale of a 13 year-old boy who runs off to the circus to escape his father. The question takes a critical look at modern-day Brazil and its ideas of masculinity and discrimination.
Mexico’s own “Three-Body Problem” from San Sebastian best short film-winning director Carlos Lenin Treviño scored the Chemistry Award for color correction and DCP services. The film tracks a couple fallen out of love, fighting to get back their lost spark.
The eight selected films were screened for a panel of judges including UNAM general director of cinematographic activities Hugo Villa; Susana Santos, the Karlovy Vary delegate for Latin America and Portugal; and long-time film industry professional José Luis Mejía.
2019 GUADALAJARA CONSTRUYE SELECTION
“Son of Ox,” (Haroldo Borges, Brazil)
“Forgiveness,” (Alex Kahuam, Mexico, U.S.)
“Taken Identity,” (Gabriel Retes, Mexico)
“The Passion of Nella Barrantes,” (Nicolás Pacheco, Costa Rica)
“The Furies,” (Tamae Garateguy, Argentina)
“The Ghosts,” (Sebastián Lojo, Guatemala, Lebanon, Argentina)
“Piola,” (Luis Alejandro Pérez García, Chile)
“Three-Body Problem,” (Carlos Lenin Treviño, Mexico)