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‘Daughter of Rage’ Sweeps San Sebastian Co-Production Forum Awards

SAN SEBASTIAN  —  Already backed by a four-way production partnership spanning Nicaragua, Mexico, the Netherlands and Germany, Nicaraguan Laura Baumeister’s stirring feature debut project “Daughter of Rage” swept three of the four prizes on offer at San Sebastian’s 8th Europe-Latin America Co-production Forum, which wrapped Wednesday night.

The other big prize of the night, a Films in Progress Prize for  San Sebastian’s pix-on-post competition, went to another alumna of Mexico’s Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica (CCC) film school, Fernanda Valadez for “Non Distinguishing Features.” an extraordinary achievement for an already celebrated institution.

The trio of trophies – Best Project Award, an Efads-Caaci Grant, and Artekino Intl. Prize – for “Daughter of Rage” mark further recognition for a movie project whose combination of mother-daughter story and social-issue drama has won development backing from the Hubert Bals, HB Minority Europe, Ibermedia funds.It also garnered a Woulter Barendrecht Award at the Rotterdam Festival.

Also written by Laura Baumeister, “Daughter of Rage” (“La hija de todas las rabias”) turns on 11-year-old María, who seethes with rage at her mother’s abandonment of her at a garbage dump in Managua, Nicaragua’s capital.

Joining a gang of other abandoned children who work at the dump’s recycling factory in return for food and water, she sets out find her mother crossing a city rocked by violent protests.

The rubbish dump works as a microcosm for Nicaragua’s society at large, an ecological disaster on the banks of the country’s biggest lake and a mark of political disorder and sexism. Reacting to her screenplay, “some people have objected that a mother never abandons her child, but nobody’s said that about a father,” Baumeister commented to Variety.

“Daughter of Rage” has a daughter searching for her mother; “Non Distinguishing Features” has a mother searching for her son, missing en route to the U.S.-Mexico border. Produced by Corpulenta Producciones and Jack Zagha’s Avanti Pictures, also based in Mexico City, it is directed by Mexican Valadez, who produced “The Darkest Days of Us,” directed by Astrid Rondero. Here Rondero returns the favor, producing “Non Distinguishing Features.”

“Non Distinguishing Features” follows the mother, Magdalena, who while searching for her son instead meets Miguel, recently deported from the U.S., eager to be reunited with his mother in Mexico, a country he hardly now recognizes.

The title is symbolic. “I wanted to comment on the wave of violence and crimes in Mexico which affects everyone. In this situation, Mexicans are indistinguishable, only recognized by the people who love them,” Valadez told Variety.

San Sebastian’s 2019 Forum awards also marked a major victory for women with “Daughter of Rage” set up as a co-production between Rossana Baumeister at Nicaragua’s Felipa Films, Martha Orozco at Mexico’s MartFilms, Christine Anderson at Dutch production house Halal and HeimatFilm’s Bettina Brokemper in Germany, meaning that seven out of the eight directors or producers of the two big winners on Wednesday night are women.

The women producers’ support “happened organically. It was women who approached us at festivals, saying they wanted to be on board,” said Baumeister.

Both “Daughter of Rage” and “Non Distinguishing Features” are also broken family dramas. Nicaragua is one of the countries with the highest rate of single mothers in all Latin America, according to Baumeister.

Of other industry prizes, a Kosovo-France-North Macedonia- Italy co-production, “Andromeda Galaxy,” from Kosovo’s More Raça, took both prizes at Glocal in Focus, a pix-in-post strand dedicated to films in non-major European languages. It tracks an out-of-work middle-aged man who decides to sell a kidney to fund a move to western Europe.

Juan Sebastian Torres’ “Almamula,” lead produced by Paris-based Tu Vas Voir, one of San Sebastian’s most frequent Forum and Films in Progress winners, walked off with the Forum’s Eurimages Development Co-production Award. 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. Tu Va Voir’s Pilar Peredo produces.

Brazil-based Michael Wahrmann’s “Painless” – a social-issue genre movie whose co-writers include notable young talents such as Argentina’s Alejandro Fadel and Brazil’s Gabriela Amaral de Almeida – won the REC Grabaketa Estudios Post-Production Award at San Sebastian’s burgeoning  Ikusmira Berriak residency program.

SAN SEBASTIAN 2019 INDUSTRY AWARDS

ZINEMALDIA STARTUP CHALLENGE

ZINEMALDIA STARTUP CHALLENGE AWARD

Largo Film, S.A., (Switzerland)

IKUSMIRA BERRIAK AWARDS

REC GRABAKETA AWARD / POST-PRODUCTION AWARD

“Sem Dor,” (Michael Wahrmann, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina)

GLOCAL IN PROGRESS

GLOCAL IN PROGRESS INDUSTRY AWARD

“Andromeda Galaxy” (More Raça, Kosovo, France, North Macedonia, Italy)

GLOCAL IN PROGRESS AWARD

“Andromeda Galaxy” (More Raça, Kosovo, France, North Macedonia, Italy)

EUROPE-LATIN AMERICA CO-PRODUCTION FORUM AWARDS

VIII EUROPE-LATIN AMERICA CO-PRODUCTION FORUM BEST PROJECT AWARD

“Daughter of Rage,” (Laura Baumeister, Nicaragua, Mexico, Netherlands, France, Germany)

EFADs-CAACI EUROPE-LATIN AMERICA CO-PRODUCTION GRANT

“Daughter of Rage,” (Laura Baumeister, Nicaragua, Mexico, Netherlands, France, Germany)

EURIMAGES DEVELOPMENT CO-PRODUCTION AWARD

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

ARTEKINO INTERNATIONAL PRIZE

“Daughter of Rage,” (Laura Baumeister, Nicaragua, Mexico, Netherlands, France, Germany)

FILMS IN PROGRESS AWARDS

FILMS IN PROGRESS 36TH INDUSTRY AWARD

“Non Distinguishing Features,” Fernanda Valadez, Mexico)

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