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Producer Juan Segundo Álamos was in San Sebastian to showcase “Los restos fósiles” (The Fossilized Remains), the debut feature film from award-winning Argentinian director Jerónimo Quevedo.

At WIP Latam, the new San Sebastian Industry initiative focused on Latin American productions at the post-production stage, a half-hour taster of the film was screened. It’s inspired by young militants in Argentina calling for social change amidst political turmoil.

The footage was filmed in Buenos Aires and Mar del Plata in 2019 using support from Argentine funds. Producer Álamos told Variety, “The idea was to shoot the first part, and then Jerónimo wanted to see the material, make a cut, and write the second part.”

The 16mm images show young Argentinian militants discussing in Spanish and English whether to organize a mass occupation of the city schools or to condemn one of its members for gender-based violence publicly. Meanwhile, prominent politicians in Portugal, Brazil and Argentina commit suicide or face assassination attempts. Another group of militants discuss supporting the occupation or whether to defend their militant comrade against the accusations.

Speaking down the phone from Argentina, director Quevedo added that the trigger of the movie was true-life stories from young militants in schools, many of whom appear in the film. “We visited schools where protests were taking place and a lot of the material in the film comes from their stories.”

One of the cast members is Ofelia Fernández, who in elections in 2019, became a member of the Buenos Aires City Legislature. Aged 19, she is reported to be the youngest legislator in Latin America.

“Fossilized Remains” is produced by Alamos, Quevedo, Franco Bacchiani and Victoria Marotta at Buenos Aires-based Un Puma, the company also behind Martin Reitman’s San Sebastian Co-Production Forum winner “Riders.”

The filmmakers were invited to San Sebastian to compete for two prizes.  The WIP Latam Industry Award bestowed by the companies Ad Hoc Studios, Deluxe, Dolby, Laserfilm Cine y Vídeo, Nephilim Producciones, No Problem Sonido and Sherlock Films, helps with post-production and securing distribution in Spain. The EGEDA Platino Industria Award for the best WIP Latam, carrying a €30,000 prize ($36,000), is handed to the majority producer of the winning film, and sponsored by EGEDA, the Audiovisual Producers’ Rights Management Assn.

Álamos says “We made a 30-minute cut for this presentation. It’s just 40% of the movie, we think we have to shoot for another three weeks. We have the cast and we have the location; so we are just waiting for the money to make it.”