LOS ANGELES —Three portraits of tortuous mother-son relations – “Summer White,” “A Mother” and “Perfect David” – lend an extra urgency to the Copia Final showcase at this year’s Ventana Sur, Latin America’s biggest film market.
Suggesting a world where the most elementary of affective bonds is now challenged by unnaturally demanding love or hereditary mental illness, these three movies are all first features, as are four of the six titles playing in 2019’s Copia Final.
A groundbreaking partnership of the Cannes Festival, Cannes Marché du Film and Argentina’s INCAA National Institute of Film and Audiovisual Arts, the 10-years-old Ventana Sur has now announced the first three sections in its bespoke market and co-production forum: Animation!, Primer Corte and Copia Final.
More announcements will follow, including Thierry Fremaux’s Cannes Film Week. An expertly curated market/festival, Ventana Sur, now gearing up for its 11th edition, focuses on the major production line in Latin America: Auteur films moving, which are ever more moving towards the mainstream as they incorporate genre, stars and higher production values. It also highlights in bespoke section select major growth areas in the region: Animation, genre (Blood Window) and drama series (Fiction Factory).
For the first time, Ventana Sur’s Copia Final sports prizes, and significant ones at that: From subtitling giant Titra and a contribution to distribution in France from Canal Plus’ Cine Plus. With companies are already a distinguished backer of Primer Corte where they give one of its major awards.
This year’s selection, like Primer Corte, was curated, as in recent years, by José María Riba, a driving-force at Paris’ Small is Biutiful Spain-France film forum and Espagnolas en Paris events; Eva Morsch-Kihn, who heads up industry events at Toulouse’s Rencontres; and María Núñez, the longterm Primer Corte organizer. A breakdown of 2019 Copia Final titles:
The latest offering from the Opera Prima program at Mexico’s prestigious CCC film school which is sparking good word-of.mouth as a shrewdly observed psychological drama, “Summer White” is set to unspool next week at Los Cabos GFFF Films in Development showcase. Laced with autobiographical elements, Rodrigo Ruíz Patterson’s debut weighs in as a traumatic coming of age movie, painting a portrait of fragile emotional dependence and pained rebellion of a single son of a single mother who reacts with growing hostility to her new boyfriend moving into their home.
Felipe Gómez Aparicio’s visually crafted “Perfect David,” produced by Pablo Ingercher at Oh My Gómez! Films and Roberto Me Dejó Films, turns on.a teen, David, who spends his waking hours pumping iron, driven by an obsessed artist mother who yearns to turn him into her perfect creation. “I shot ‘Perfect David’s’ narrative as experienced from the protagonist’s point of view,” said Gómez Aparicio. “Physically strong, yet emotionally fragile, David struggles to understand his world and fit in with his peers, despite constant pressure,” he added.
Produced by Jhonny Hendrix, one of the founding fathers of modern Colombian cinema, Diogenes Cuevas’ “A Mother” centers on a man determination to spring his schizophrenic mother from a mental institution. Doing so, he initiates a journey “loaded with love, madness and loss,” first-time feature director Cuevas told Variety. “In ‘A Mother,’ he went on, “I wanted to address an issue that affects my family: Madness and the taboo which sets in when having someone close in this condition.” “The film charts an extenuating emotional journey,” said Copia Final co-curator José María Riba.
The latest from a leading light of Argentina’s genre cinema, director of “Lucifernina,” and starring well-known actors, such as veteran José Soriano (“Wait for Me in Heaven”), Gonzalo Calzada’s “Nocturna I – The Great Old Man’s Night” turns on a 100-year-old battling for redemption on his last night on earth. “Eager to seek out new forms of expression and taking into account the themes that ‘Nocturna’ deals with,” its makers produced “Nocturna II – Where Elephants Go to Die,” “another view of the same story [but] radically opposed in its aesthetics,” said Calzada.
‘THE LIFELESS SKIN’
Starring Uruguay’s Cesar Troncoso, a reported standout in the film, and produced by Araça Filmes, and the feature debut of Denise Moraes and second movie from Bruno Torres (“Waiting for Liz”), ”The Lifeless Skin” is a Brazil-to-Bolivia road movie with an elect of mystery set on a moving service truck traveling through the vast, semi-arid plains of the Gran Chaco, transporting what the filmmakers describe as “three solitary souls going through change.”
‘CATCHING THE WHITE TUNA’
Colombian Maritza Blanco’s “Catching the White Tuna”weighs in as a drama-thriller, about a teen girl, the granddaughter of a fisherman, caught up in the cocaine trade. As in “The Calm,” selected for Primer Corte, the movie draws a distinction between a young generation of women who prize education – “Catching’s” protagonist hopes to go to university – but are forced to battle Latin America’s violence. They pay a price. “What’s interesting is the treatment of a female character in world that’s extremely masculine. You can sense that this film was made by a woman director,” said Riba,
VENTANA SUR 2019 COPIA FINAL LINEUP
“Catching the White Tuna,” Maritza Blanco, Colombia
”The Lifeless Skin,” (Denise Moraes, Bruno Torres, Brazil, Paraguay)
“A Mother,” (Colombia, Argentina)
“Nocturna I – The Great Old Man’s Night,” (Gonzalo Calzada (Argentina)
“Perfect David,” (Felipe Gómez Aparicio, Argentina, Uruguay),
“Summer White,” (Rodrigo Ruiz Patterson. Mexico)