Three days into Mexico’s 2021 Guadalajara Film Festival, the prizes for the works-in-progress in its Guadalajara Construye side bar were awarded on Sunday, making a number of Latin American filmmakers very happy.

Guadalajara Construye exemplifies the solidarity of the film industries of Latin America, with production companies across the region funding numerous prizes designed to get the works-in progress over the hump to completed films ready for distribution.

The biggest winner of the night was the Mexican film “Martínez” directed by Lorena Padilla, a Mexican director who also teaches directing and screenwriting at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Padilla has garnered various levels of funding from Mexico’s Imcine film agency over the years and continued that string of good fortune tonight, picking up five awards providing post-production services for the nearly completed “Martínez.”

It tells the story of an aging office worker who finds that his long habit of turning a cold shoulder to social relationships has left him friendless.

The awards for “Martínez” include the Chemistry (Mexico)-sponsored prize that amounts to nearly 950,000 pesos ($50,000) worth of color correction; the Fix Comunicación (Mexico)-sponsored award worth 320,000 pesos ($17,000) to produce a trailer; and the Diecinueve 36 (Mexico)-sponsored award for credits design award, worth 240,000 pesos ($12,600).

Padilla’s debut also walked off with the 3C Film Group (Argentina) Distribution Award, a DCP worth 100,000 pesos ($5,300); and the Secuencia + Estrategico (Mexico) for a poster and website valued at 100,000 pesos (US$5,300).

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Octopus Skin Courtesy of Ana Cristina Barragan

The second biggest winner of the night at the Guadalajara Construye sidebar was “Octopus Skin” (“La Piel Pulpo), a co-production between Ecuador, Mexico, Greece and Germany that tells the story of twins growing up on a rocky island who share an uncommonly intimate relationship. This is disrupted by the sister’s first trip alone to the city. Directed by Ana Cristina Barragán, “Octopus Skin” swept Mexico’s Churubuso Award for complete post-production services worth 500,000 pesos (US$26,300); the Pablo Mondragon/Full Mix Post (Mexico) plaudit for full mix, composition and music supervision, valued at between $790 and $19,000; the Marketing Movie Runner Prize for film analysis and a final cut worth $7,400; and the Parati Films Award by way of a 18,960 pesos ($1,000) of subtitles.

Picking up three awards, “Saudade Became Home Inside” (“Saudade Fez Morada Aqui Dentro”), directed by Haroldo Borges, tells the story of a 15-year-old boy suffering from a degenerative vision disease that, in the end, forces him to take a new look at the violent machismo of the world he inhabits. The film was awarded the Habanero (Brazil)-sponsored prize for international distribution worth 200,000 pesos ($37,000) and the HD Argentina-sponsored prize for color correction also worth 200,000 pesos ($37,000).

“Saudade Became Home Inside” also won the Paradiso WIP Award, a cash prize worth $10,000 part of the Brasil no Mundo program, instituted by the Olga Rabinovich Institute’s Projeto Paradise, to boost the presence of Brazilian films, series, and projects at the world’s major international festivals and markets.

The other Brazilian film in the Guadalajara Construye section, Andre Ristum’s “Hospicio Colonia,” tells the story of a young woman committed by her father to a brutally run insane asylum after she becomes pregnant by her boyfriend.

“Hospicio Colonia” was awarded the Yagan Films-sponsored award for final mix, worth 400,000 pesos ($21,000). The project was entered as a feature film, but it was shot both as a feature and a stand-alone ten-episode TV series that has enjoyed immense popularity on Brazilian TV.

“Pornomelancholy,” directed by Manuel Abramovich and turning on a sex-influencer with a huge following on social media, was awarded the OA Sonido Prize for sound editing worth 140,000 pesos ($6,800).