×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

San Sebastian Co-Production Forum: Lerman, Altuna, Avila, Rondon Make Cut

MADRID  —  Diego Lerman’s “Literature Teacher,” Asier Altuna’s “Karmele,” Benjamín Avila’s “The Cardinal” and Mariana Rondón’s “Zafari” will pitch at the 8th San Sebastian Europe-Latin American Co-production Forum, now firmly established as, along with Ventana Sur, the key art film meet exploring that axis.

Featuring new projects from other name auteurs from the region- Pablo Giorgelli, Neto Villalobos, for example –  as well aa top producers working Europe Latin American production – Tu Vas Voir, Campo Cine, Patagonik, Malbicho Cine, Tarea Fina, Gullane – the Forum, running Sept.22-25, will attract most of San Sebastian’s now 2,000-plus industry delegate, while offering a glimpse of the market trends now forging the regions’ filmmaking.

Here, for starters, are three:

1.STEP UP IN SCALE OR MAINSTREAM AMBITIONS

One is a step up in scale., or move towards the mainstream. After winning the Cannes Festival’s Camera d’Or for best first feature with “Las Acacias,” which took place largely in a lorry, Giorgelli’s “Transfondo,” produced by Juan Pablo Miller’s Buenos Aires based Tarea Fina, comes in at Argentina’s 1981-86 dictatorship from  a new angle, a submarine-set war movie unspooling during the Falklands War, “a picture about 30-men shut up for 40 days in a sub, in which things don’t go well at all,” Giorgelli told website Noticine.

Produced by San Sebastian’s Tintxua Films, “Karmele,” from top Basque auteur Altuna (“Amama”), follows a woman and her family and how they are impacted by Spain’s 20th century – the Spanish Civil Guard, political exile, Franco’s dictatorship and the financial consequences of exile.

A potential move towards the mainstream, Lerman’s “Literature Teacher,” produced by Nicolás Avruj at Campo Cine, is a hope-tinged drama set at secondary school in Buenos Aires’ violent, marginalized outer radius.

2.CO-PRODUCTION

Another trend is co-production. Without it, it is now difficult to make an arthouse film of budgetary ambition, as the pre-sales make for art films all but disappears. 11 of the 16 projects pitched at the Forum already have an international co-production partner.

Avila’s “The Cardinal,” for example, set up from last year as a co-production between Chile’s Storyboard Media and Argentina’s Magma Cine, now has Brazilian partner Gullane on board. A historical true-events-based drama, it is set in 1973 Chile, after Augusto Pinochet’s military coup, following Cardinal Raúl Silva Henríquez’s halting, agonized build to frontal opposition to Pinochet’s murderous regime. Avila (“Clandestine Childhood”) directs.

Neto Villalobos’ Costa Rican La Sucia Centroamericana is partnering with Alejo Crisostomo’s Ceibita in Chile on “Love is the Monster,” a psychological thriller exploring how far a grandmother’s attempt to rescue her granddaughter from imminent danger.

“Daughter of Rage,” from Laura Baumeister, is being structured as a four-way co-production between Nicaragua, México, the Netherlands and Germany.

Produced by Daniel Van Hoogstraten’s Syndrome Films, “Streets of Glory,” continuing Brazilian Felipe Sholl’s exploration of sexuality, seen in debut “The Other End,” is set up as co-production with France.

Paris-based production company Tu Vas Voir is in advanced negotiations to bring in a Luxembourg partner on “Almamula,” Argentine Juan Sebastián Torales fiction feature debut. It turns on Nino, aged 12, who is assaulted for being homosexual. Moved by guilt and shame, he’ll do everything to attract the Almamula: a creature that, legend has it, captures forever those who commit an impure sexual act. Pilar Peredo produces.

3.ENGAGÉ AND ENGAGING

Disasters and injustice in Latin America are too terrible to ignore, Peruvian Nobel Prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa wrote decades ago.

Those social-concerns remain. “Daughter of Rage” is a mother-daughter relationship drama set at a rubbish drama in Managua, Nicaragua.  In “The Judges,” from Guatemala’s Cesar Díaz – whose Cannes Critics’ Week player “Our Mothers” won this year’s Camera d’Or – some neighbors in a conflictive Guatemalan hood take justice into their own hands, as official justice fails.

Produced by Uruguay’s Malbicho Cine, whose Sandino Saravia took an associate producer credit on “Roma,” Gerardo Minutti’s “Dogs” is described as a “singular comedy,” turning on a man who tries to give up a life of crime. He fails.

In “Sleepless Ana,” from Daniel Gil, produced by director brothers César y José Esteban Alenda (“Sin Fin”), a mother searches for her daughter, a sex-trade victim, she believes.

Supported by the Sundance Institute, “Dos estaciones,” from Mexico’s Juan Pablo González, turns on a Mexican tequila plant owner, facing the end of her empire.

A social conscience, however, does not preclude entertainment. Produced by Argentina’s Pucara Cine, behind Benjamín Naishtat’s “Rojo,” the Buenos Aires-set “The Dirty Ones” has a marked thriller edge. Directed by Ulises Porra (“Tigre”), it turns on a boxing referee from the Balkans who refuses to fix a fight, is marked by the mob, but stumbles on a former Albanian warlord, guilty of crimes against humanity. He conceives a plan to set mob and mass murderer at each other’s throats.

Very little was known mid-August of “Zafari,” from Rondón, a San Sebastian Golden Shell winner, nor of “The Time We Lost,” from Gustavo Rondón Cordova, whose “Familia” played Cannes Critics’ Week to applause; nor of “Curuzú, from Argentina’s Ana García, whose debut “Good Intentions” was selected for Toronto’s Discovery and San Sebastian’s New Directors sections.

Their freshness, however, will be one of the Forum’s attractions.

Diego-Lerman-Asier-Altuna-Mariana-Rondón-and-Pablo-Giorgelli

SAN SEBASTIAN 2019 EUROPE-LATIN AMERICA CO-PRODUCTION FORUM

Chosen projects (title, director, lead production company, producing countries):

“Almamula,” (Juan Sebastián Torales, Tu Vas Voir, France, Argentina, Luxembourg)

“Curuzú,” (Ana García Blaya, NOS, Argentina, Paraguay)

“Love is the Monster,” (“Amor es el monstruo,” Neto Villalobos Brenes, Ceibita Films, Costa Rica, Chile)

“Sleepless Ana,” (“Ana no duerme,” Daniel Gil Suárez, Solita Films, Spain, Argentina)

“Dos estaciones,” (Juan Pablo González González, Cine Bandada Sapi, Sin sitio cine, Mexico)

“The Cardinal,” (“El cardenal,” Benjamín Avila, Producciones Storyboard Media Limitada, Chile, Argentina, Brazil)

“Literature Teacher,” (“El maestro de literatura,” Diego Lerman, Campo Cine, Argentina, Brazil)

“The Time We Lost,” (“El tiempo que perdimos,” Gustavo Rondón Córdova, Genuino Films, Mexico, Venezuela, France)

“Karmele,” (Asier Altuna Iza, Txintxua Films, Spain, France)

“Daughter of Rage,” (“La hija de todas las rabias,” Laura Baumeister, Felipa Films, Nicaragua, Mexico, Netherlands, Germany)

“The Judges,” (“Los jueces,” César Díaz, Need Productions, Belgium)

“The Dirty Ones,” (“Los sucios,” Ulises Porra Guardiola, Pucara Cine, Argentina)

“Dogs,” (“Perros,” Gerardo Minutti, Malbicho Cine, Uruguay)

“Streets of Gloria,” (“Calles de la gloria,” Felipe Sholl, Syndrome Films, Brazil, France)

“Trasfondo,” (Pablo Giorgelli, Tarea Fina, Argentina)

“Zafari,” (Mariana Rondón, Prod. a la media noche y media Sudaca Films, Venezuela, Peru)

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Alexander Skarsgard, Nicole Kidman. Alexander Skarsgard,

    Nicole Kidman, Alexander Skarsgard to Reunite for Robert Eggers' 'The Northman'

    With his latest film “The Lighthouse” set to bow this weekend, Robert Eggers’ next film has cast two leads, “Big Little Lies” alums Nicole Kidman and Alexander Skarsgård. The pic, titled “The Northman,” is described as a Viking revenge saga set in Iceland at the turn of the 10th century. In talks to join Kidman [...]

  • Jessica Henwick

    'Matrix 4' Taps 'Iron Fist' Star Jessica Henwick

    Jessica Henwick is in final negotiations to star in the upcoming fourth installment of the “Matrix” franchise. She joins Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss, who will be reprising their roles in the film, as well as Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who was tapped as one of the leads last week. Neil Patrick Harris also just joined [...]

  • John Turturro Big Lebowski Jesus Rolls

    The Unconventional Road to John Turturro's Unofficial 'Big Lebowski' Spinoff 'Jesus Rolls'

    By now, John Turturro is used to being recognized as Jesus Quintana, the flamboyant, purple-polyester-clad competitive bowling maven who stares down Jeff Bridges’ “the Dude” at the lanes in “The Big Lebowski.” The chameleon-like character actor has made multiple films with the Coen brothers, Spike Lee and even Michael Bay. But when he goes out [...]

  • Frozen 2

    Record 32 Animated Feature Films Submitted for Oscars

    “The Addams Family,” “Frozen II,” “Toy Story 4,” “Abominable” and “The Secret Life of Pets 2” are among the record 32 movies submitted for the animated feature film category at the 2020 Oscars. Last year’s Academy Awards race boasted 25 entries, while 2017 had 26 and 2016 had 27 (a then-record). The list of contenders [...]

  • Bebe Rexha Drops Music Video From

    Bebe Rexha Drops Empowering Music Video From 'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' (Watch)

    Bebe Rexha has dropped a video for her song “You Can’t Stop the Girl,” the female empowerment theme from Disney’s forthcoming “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.” Directed by Sophie Muller, the music video features scenes of Rexha reimagined as Maleficent and wandering through the film’s fantasy landscape, leading a marathon of women and snippets of the [...]

  • Sir Elton JohnElton John AIDS Foundation

    Recappin' Fantastic: The Most Fascinating Reveals from Elton John's Memoir, 'Me'

    How charming, and jaw-droppingly candid, is Elton John’s memoir, “Me”? Consider this: It’s a 350-page book that’s not so overly caught up in sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll — which, to be sure, it supplies in roughly equal, copious amounts  — that it won’t take a time-out to recount the party where Elton made [...]

  • Reese Witherspoon Kerry Washington Ryan Reynolds

    Market for Package Deals and Original Ideas Heats Up Ahead of Platform Launches

    Practically every studio in town wanted it, but in the end it was Apple that swept in to nab the reinterpretation of “A Christmas Carol” with Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds. To buy the highly coveted package, the tech giant was willing to shell out more than $60 million to the stars and the film’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content