Few facets of Chile’s Sanfic Industria are as keenly tracked as its Works in Progress. This is the section, after all, which introduced the industry to Sebastián Lelio’s “Gloria,” which went on to win best actress at Berlin for Paulina García and see a successful remake by Lelio himself with Juliane Moore in the title.
Sundance winners “Violeta Went To Heaven,” from Andrés Wood, Marialy Rivas’ “Young & Wild” and Alejandro Fernández Almendras’ “To Kill a Man” all made auspicious debuts at Sanfic as movies in post-production.
Sanfic Industria has now released the full list of Works in Progress set to screen onsite and online over Oct 27-Nov 5. A strong jury takes in Estrella Araiza, director of Mexico’s Guadalajara Film Festival, Busan Film Festival programmer Karen Park and Anabelle Aramburu, co-ordinator of the MAFIZ industry umbrella at Spain’s Malaga Festival. They will select four titles which will form part of the Sanfic Industry Goes to Cannes, a showcase at Cannes’ 2022 Marché du Film.
About 100 productions seeking completion finance, fest selection, distribution or sales agents were submitted for this and next week’s event. 90% were new titles. Applications were 30% up on March’s first Sanfic Industria event. That’s a healthy sign of newly energized production in Latin America, said Sanfic Industria director Gabriela Sandoval.
Several of the projects continue a strong run of festival industry development program participation, including Botón Films’ documentary “Ozogoche,” a Sanfic Film Labs alum, and “History and Geography,” which screened in the Works in Progress sidebar at this year’s Guadalajara Film Festival. Titles selected:
FALL 2021 SANFIC LATAM WORKS IN PROGRESS
“B&E” Dir: Tomás Gonzalez Matos
Produced by Pira Films and inspired by a true story, this Chilean feature film follows the aftermath of a terrible mistake made during an illegal operation. When the commissioner and deputy commissioner break into the prosecutor’s office to destroy incriminating recordings, a betrayal within the team will jeopardize the mission, pinning drug trafficking, torture and corruption on one sole culprit. Pitted against the clock in this modern dark thriller, only time will tell who will end up being left holding the gun.
“Ozogoche” Dir: Joe Houlberg
Botón Films present their documentary “Ozogoche,” a textural allegory on the plight of the Cuviví – a bird which inexplicably commits suicide during its southward migration – and the people who live along its flight path. The film follows Don Feliciano and his family, as they wait for the arrival of the birds once a year in order to harvest the carcasses left behind on the sprawling beaches of the Ozogoche lagoons. Fading traditions and encroaching modernity fill the paced poetry of this Ecuadorian production.
“History and Geography” Dir: Bernardo Quesney
Chilean Amparo Noguera (“A Fantastic Woman”) plays Gioconda Martinez, an actress seeking to reinvent herself and as well rescribe her image, one of a comedic one-shot from an old hit TV series. Determined to change her public persona, she stages a play in her hometown centered on the tragedies of the Mapuche people, only to learn it will take more than a serious subject to be taken seriously. “History and Geography” is director Bernardo Quesney’s third feature film. Catalina Saavedra (“The Maid”) co-stars. Equeco (“Little White Lie”) produces.
“Back to the Sea of My Deceased” Dir: Esteban García Garzón
This Mexico-Colombia co-production brings the story of Chico (11) and the journey of his ancestors. Living in a small village in the Colombian Guajira with his Wayúu grandmother Ismelda (71), Chico has visions of his ancestors asking him to return his mother’s bones to Jepirra, the sacred place of the Wayúu. He must brave challenges natural and supernatural in order to accomplish his goal in a potentially vivid, rich adventure.
“Devil’s Breath” Dir: Jorge Monteallegre
Jorge Monteallegre at Tres 33 Films, co-producing with Hawaii Film Productions, weighs in with “Devil’s Breath”: the tragic romance of Matias and Ana, who pay the price for life in the fast lane when Ana dies of a drug overdose. Matias, unwilling to let her go, finds a way back to her through shamanic ritual and the devil’s flower. Described as sensual, intense and emotional, this modern love story blends dark with light to show the low that can follow the high.
“What is Left After the Accident” Dir: David Valverdi
Produced, written and directed by David Marcial Valverdi, “What is Left After the Accident” plays like a memoir and candid love letter at the same time. Cycling through footage of his life, David paints a story of a boy who discovers his history, his place in the world and his identity, all tempered in the fires of experience.
“Ghost Project” Dir: Roberto Doveris
A second directorial outing for well-respected producer Doveris after his well received 2015 “Las Plantas,” his Chilean film, produced by Doveris’ Niña Niño Films and Agencia Rekia, follows Pablo (30), a young actor in Santiago who pays his rent by acting as a patient in medical simulations. When his roommate suddenly disappears without paying rent, Pablo finds he has more problems than he can handle – namely, a ghost. Doveris filmed “Ghost Project” in Santiago. “I wanted to show how strange are the connections between people in a giant city like Santiago,” Doveris said of the film, “where internet and social media play an important role, but without leaving behind the warmth and closeness of neighborhood life.”
“The Barbaric” Dir: Andrew Sala
Glimpsed at last year’s Ventana Sur Copia Final, this film from Argentine writer-director Andrew Sala (“Pantanal”) concerns Nacho, a teen from Buenos Aires, and a stay with his estranged father Marcos, ranch owner. In rural Pampas Plains, Nacho must learn to find his place regardless of how backwards things may seem, and where violence is a local language, he must learn to speak the language as well, but also whether he will make a stand for the downtrodden.
John Hopewell contributed to this article.