Ventana Sur’s Blood Window Works in Progress Screenings and Spotlight on International Projects sections have become standout events on the global genre films calendar. The event has matured in stature, but in content as well, featuring high-end content and expanding from a straight horror event to other genre areas such as science fiction and fantasy.
Internationally, the event has embarked on partnerships with the likes of Sitges Film Festival in Spain, Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival in South Korea and the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFFF) in Belgium.
In recent years Blood Window has been less about the blood and more about the window into what haunts humanity. Science fiction and fantasy allegories have come into vogue, and while there is still plenty to be afraid of in Blood Window’s selection, there is more to think about.
As is the case every year, San Sebastian Film Festival director José Luis Rebordinos had the enviable job of curating the works in progress Screenings section. For the Spotlight on International Projects sidebar, two films are endorsed by BIFFF with one each backed by the Sitges and Bifan festivals and Spain’s Institute of Cinematography and the Audiovisual Arts (ICAA).
2020 BLOOD WINDOW WORKS IN PROGRESS SCREENINGS
“Tarumama,” (Andrés Beltrán, Colombia)
Produced by leading Colombian shingle Dynamo Producciones (“Narcos,” “Monos”), “Tarumama” is Beltrán’s return to the big screen after directing for Netflix’s “Wild District” and popular Colombian series “La Ley Secreta” and “Bolivar.” In the film, Sara and Oscar look to repair a damaged marriage with a family trip to a remote cabin, where a mysterious woman roams the woods crying for her lost baby.
“On the Third Day,” (Daniel de la Vega, Argentina)
Three days after they are involved in a car accident, a child disappears, and his distraught mother can’t remember how. Piecing together missing memories she faces off against a religious fanatic after learning of other, similar cases. It’s the latest from one of Argentina’s leading voices in genre filmmaking, whose credits include “Jennifer’s Shadow,” “Death Knows Your Name” and other festival and cult hits.
“The Nights Belong to The Monsters,” (Sebastian Perillo, Argentina)
Perillo’s sophomore feature follows Sol, a 17-year-old girl who moves to a new town and into her mother’s new boyfriend’s place. There, she faces hostility and bullying from day one, until she crosses paths with a mystical street dog with which she forges a symbiotic relationship in which the dog always appears, often violently, when Sol is in trouble. Rispo Films produces.
“Jupía,” (Leticia Tonos, José Gómez, Dominican Republic)
Produced by Inframundo Films, award-winning filmmakers Tonos and Gómez team on this tale of a man who loses everything when his wife and daughter go missing. The investigating detective is a suspicious man by nature and suffers from depression. His own demons affect the investigation, which eventually leads him to a remote nursing home and a shamanic Hatian nurse who will do anything to cover up an ancient secret.
“The Inevitable,” (Fercks Castellani, Argentina)
A Blood Window world premiere, Castellani’s “The Inevitable,” a 2019 Blood Window Lab and 2020 Sitges Coming Soon project, turns on a family living in a rural home living through the final hours of an imminent judgement day. In the final moments, a self-proclaimed savior arrives and asks the family to put their faith in him.
“The Eye and the Wall,” (Carlos Javier del Cid Mazariegos, Guatemala)
Previously featured in Viña del Mar’s Films in Progress section, “The Eye and the Wall” is a science fiction story set in Gabhán City, a metropolis divided in two by a colossal wall. Stuck on the wrong side of the wall, Alba works in a clandestine network which distributes medicine and water to those who need it most. Post-production on the film is nearly finished, with only sound design and VFX left to be done.
“Apps,” (Sandra Arriagada, José Miguel Zuñiga, Lucio Rojas, Camilo León, Chile)
One of two projects at Blood Window from director Sandra Arriagada, her next project “Matria” pitching this year in the Feature Project Lineup. This time she’s joined by a team of filmmakers who each deliver one of four stories featuring mobile phone apps which ignite nightmare scenarios.
“Leni,” (Federico Gianotti, Argentina)
This market premiere debut feature from self-taught director Gianotti tracks titular protagonist Leni as a series of recurring nightmares in the aftermath of an ugly breakup have her living on the edge and frantically scrambling to regain her sanity while confronting monsters, both real and perceived.
“Rising Sun Camp,” (Jorge Croce, Argentina)
A period horror flick set at an ‘80s summer camp, inspired by director Croce’s adoration of genre cinema from that era he credits as an almost surrogate parent, “Rising Sun Camp” tracks a group of kids and counselors hounded by a murderous masked figure.
2020 BLOOD WINDOW SPOTLIGHT ON INTERNATIONAL PROJECTS
“Blue as Your Blood,” (Ivan Sainz-Pardo, Germany)
Endorsed by Catalonia’s Sitges Film Festival, “Blue as Your Blood” comes to Sitges as one of the most ambitious projects to pitch this year. Educated at the Munich Film School, filmmaker Ivan Sainz-Pardo boasts an impressive resume of short films directed and written, but will make his feature debut with this story of an investigative journalist who gets caught up in one of her own stories.
“Dark My Light,” (Neal Dhand, Spain, U.S.)
Representing Korea’s Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival, Prague-based American filmmaker Neal Dhand has, in addition to his involvement at BIFAN, also received a special mention at Sitges Pitchbox with this project. The film follows two detectives who find a severed foot and a human corpse. Things get weird when the DNA results come back on the detached body-part.
“Stargazer,” (Christian Neuman, Luxembourg)
One of two projects from BIFFF, Neuman’s “Stargazer” turns on Fey Vilar, a celebrated actress who, in her private life, is weighed down with the feeling of responsibility for the death of her son Paul. Events take a supernatural turn when she is offered a part in a theatrical production of “Stargazer,” which promises to reunite her with her son.
“Virtual: The Hologames,” (Daniel Hernández Torrado, Spain)
BIFFF’s second sponsored entry, Hernández’s science fiction thriller is the cyberpunk tale of Junoh, who lives in an impoverished area of his System, spending his time near the VR arcades until he is enlisted to participate in the Extreme Hologames, where participants receive potentially deadly electric shocks while competing. Hernández’s jam-packed trophy cabinet, thanks to features such as “The 9” and “Pixel Theory: Pandora’s Box,” makes this one of Blood Window’s most highly anticipated projects.
“The Bad Mother,” (Alicia Albares, Spain)
When Victoria wakes up with a broken arm in a house in the woods, she can’t remember who she is or how she got there. Attended by a nurse and a doctor, she is slowly able to piece together bits of often unpleasant memory with unwanted help from a ghostly figure haunting the grounds.