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‘Karnawal,’ ‘Restless,’ ‘Summer White,’ ‘Firsts’ Win Big at Ventana Sur

BUENOS AIRES  — With Ventana Sur now firing on multiple cylinders, featuring pix-in post or project competitions for not only art films but also genre pics and animation – two sectors embraced by young creators in Latin America – “Karnawal,” “Restless,” “Summer White” and  “Firsts” proved big winners among Ventana Sur’s arthouse and animation competitions, while “The Containment” and “Vurdulak Blood” topped genre movie mart Blood Window plaudits with two prices each.

Jérôme Paillard,  Cannes Marché du Film and Ventana Sur director-founder, used the occasion to announce slightly later dates for Ventana Sur next year, Dec. 8-12.

Meanwhile, Colombia’s Oscar submission “Monos,” hailed by Variety as “astonishing” and a “major work of fever-dream art” did its International Feature Film Academy Award nomination chances no damage at all taking the Latin American Film of the Year, now granted by an expanded, global Intl. Federation of Fantastic Film Festivals.

It was two highly disparate titles – “Karnawal” and “Restless” – which won out most, however, in Primer Corte. the pix-on-post competition which launched with Ventana Sur, Latin America’s biggest film-TV market-forum, way back in 2009.

A six-way co-production, boasting the strongest production backing of any title in Ventana Sur competitions, “Karnawal” lifts the lid on the extraordinary – but unknown for foreign audiences –  malambo dance culture on the Argentine-Peru border, and building to an extraordinary climax, grounding a coming-of-age thriller in a strong sense of place.

Made by the only name director in Primer Corte, “Restless,” from Costa Rica’s Paz Fabregas who made a splash at San Sebastian’s Films in Progress with debut “Agua fría del mar,” is a teen maternity drama in which a teacher discovers one of her teenaged students attempting to miscarry an unwanted pregnancy.

Selected for Los Cabos Work in Progress then Ventana Sur’s Copia Final, for movies pretty well near completion, “Summer White” was selected this week for Sundance World Dramatic Competition, Rodrigo Ruiz Patterson’s “Summer White” completed a dream week by winning the inaugural European Vision Prize at Ventana Sur’s Copa Final granted by France’s Cine Plus Club’s Bruno Deloye, a mainstay of Latin American cinema through his acquisition if its top titles.

Recording the the building, pained rebellion of an unhealthily emotionally dependent single son of a single mother against her new boyfriend, “Summer White” drives deep into what is he becoming the biggest focus of Latin American art films: Warped or confrontational or absent bedrock parent-child relations as a cause and symbol of larger social ills.

Blood Window majorly prized filmmakers who deserve closer attention: Possession dram-thriller “The Containment,” from Mexico’s Jack Zagha and Yossy Zagha whose 2016 downbeat social allegory “Warehoused” established them as cineastes to track: and “Vurdulak Blood,” from Argentina’s Santiago Fernández, who captured some attention with 2012’s “Second Death.” A vampire hunt tale, it once more dissects family dynamics, but through genre. in a plot, Fernández told Variety, being “more closely tied to family tragedy and in some way related to intrafamily abuse, to the monster within the family itself.”

In Animation! “Firsts,” among series, and, of films, “Bird Kingdom” and “Coda” took two prizes a piece, all three snagging crucial selection for the Animation! showcase at Annecy’s MIFA the most important animation market in the world, and “Firsts, an anthology series about real-life amazing women through the ages, the all-important full passport (flight, lodging, accreditation) La Liga Award for the Canary Islands’ Quirino Awards and Mexico’s Pixelatl. Of winners, “Bird Kingdom,” a tale of atavistic violence set in a fantasy version of Brazil’s sertao, are 2D, “Coda” the latest project from Juan Pablo Zaramella, Latin America’s most famed stop-motion director. Indeed, 13 out of Animation! 15 projects are to be made in 2D or stop motion. That makes for glorious visuals. A tale of aviary internecine carnage, “Bird Kingdom” still looks exquisitely wrought.

2019 VENTANA SUR WINNERS

PRIMER CORTE

EUROPEAN VISION AWARD

“Karnawal,”(Juan Pablo Félix, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Norway)

LE FILM FRANÇAIS AWARD

“Karnawal”

SOFIA FILMS PRIZE

“Restless,” (Paz Fábrega, Costa Rica, Mexico)

NMF AND COLOR FRONT AWARDS

“Gilma,” (Alexandra Henao Serra, Venezuela)

“Piedra Sola,” (Alejandro Telemaco Tarraf, Argentina, Mexico)

LA MAYOR CINE AWARD

“Restless”

COPIA FINAL

EUROPEAN VISION AWARD

“Summer White,” Rodrigo Ruiz Patterson

BLOOD WINDOW

LA MAYOR CINE AWARD

“The Containment,” (Jack Zagha, Yossy Zagha, Mexico)

SOFIA FILMS PRIZE

“The Containment”

CHEMISTRY FILMS PRIZE

“Vurdalak Blood,”(Santiago Fernandez, Argentina, Mexico)

LE FILM FRANÇAIS AWARD

“History of the Occult,” (Christian Ponce, Argentina)

FILM DUB AWARD

“Vurdalak Blood”

SITGES PITCHBOX PRIZE

“Inevitable,” (Fercks Castellani, Argentina)

BIFAN BUCHEON INTERNATIONAL FF /NAFF AWARD

“Huesera,” (Michelle Garza Cervera, Mexico)

LATIN AMERICAN FILM OF THE YEAR AWARD

“Monos,” (Alejandro Landes, Colombia-Argentina-Netherlands-Germany-Sweden-Uruguay)

ANIMATION! 

(Titles, producers)

MIFA-ANNECY AWARDS

TV SERIES

“Firsts,” (Typpo Creative Lab & Pájaro, Chile)

“The Little Kites” (Mono Animation, Brazil)

FEATURE FILMS

“Bird Kingdom,” Lupa Filmes, Amoria Studio, Brazil)

“Coda,” (JPZtudio, Argentina; Zumbástico Studios, Chile)

SPECIAL MENTIONS:

“Olivia and the Clouds,” (Guasábara Cine, Dominican Republic)

“Jungle Comedy,” (Extranjero Films, Colombia)

LA LIGA AWARD

“Firsts”

CHILEMONOS AWARD

“Jungle Comedy”

PIXELATL PRIZE

“Shenku,”  (Kora Team, Argentina)

WEIRD ANIMATION, VIDEO GAMES & NEW MEDIA MARKET AWARDS

“Bird Kingdom”

“Coda”

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