Argentina’s “Ayelén and the Forest Shadow,” Uruguay’s “The Eagle Heist,” Mexico’s “Journey to the Land of the Tarahumara,” Brazil’s “Berg’s Books”and Spain’s “Upiro” proved top winners at a Ventana Sur prize ceremony which in its very form stressed just how much the biggest film-TV market in Latin America has expanded.
Prior to the pandemic, prize winners were allowed acceptance speeches. This year, with more awards than ever to doll out, recipients just got to pose for a photo. Prizes – mostly in kind from service companies or invitations to festivals, markets and other awards ceremonies – ranged widely. Some winners and awards stood out, however.
There was large curiosity, for instance, to see which series would receive the first ever Netflix Award at Ventana Sur, an Incentive for Argentine Women Creators. The cash endowment for further development went to “Ayelén and the Forest Shadow.” A suspense-fueled adventure fantasy for 10-12s, it looks set to be shot in stunning Patagonia woods.
Also in SoloSeries, Ventana Sur’s fortified TV strand, Rodolfo Santullo’s “The Eagle Heist,” an Uruguayan heist caper, took the biggest cash prize from Anxo Rodríguez’s Madrid-based ESPotlight.
Mexico’s Edher Campos, already a Cannes Camera d’Or and Un Certain Regard Winner for “Leap Year” and “La Jaula de Oro,” stepped up twice to the stage during the Primer Corte awards to accept plaudits for “Journey to the Land of the Tarahumara,” an account of tortured French playwright Antoine Annaud’s dalliance with Mexican indigenous rites.
One of the section’s biggest prizes was given in person in Buenos Aires by Bruno Deloye at France’s Canal Plus’ Cine Plus, a $17,000 cash prize for a French distributor, sweetening theatrical distribution in France.
The Cine Plus Award at a strong Copia Final strand, for pix-in-post with maybe more commercial potential, went to Argentina’s “Sublime,” a coming of age drama with queer identity questioning as a theme and a cool musical sort as a backdrop.
The Marché du Film–Festival de Cannes Award at co-pro forum Proyecta went to three of its buzz projects: Benjamin Mirguet’s “Alfredo Laron,” Burak Çevik’s “Another Possibility” and Adrian Orr’s doc feature “The Future Hasn’t Changed Us,” a questioning coming-of-age drama, like Mirguet’s title.
In Animation!, the clear big winner was Rubens Belli’s toon series “Berg’s Books” (“Livraria Berg”), from Latina Estudio, Belli Studio and Ultrassom, turning on the Ksiazkabergs’ family bookstore which struggles to make ends meet as son Beni, 12, battles the insecurities of his age.
Genre forum Blood Window’s only European project, “Upiro,” an 18th century monastery thriller from Spain’s Oscar Martín (“Amigo”), swept three awards, including invitations from Sitges and BiFan.
A dark maternity comedy, “Puerparas,” from Argentina’s Cecilia del Valle, took two plaudits at Ventana Sur’s Punto Género.
Boasting a color pallet to die for and a story not always associated with video games, Elina Azcona’s “Talara” took two prizes in Ventana Sur’s newly-launched Maquinitas-Let’s Play video game section. Players control a young woman who journeys through the Patagonia region of Argentina, confronting a sometimes painful past.
Ventana Sur’s 2021 Prizes:
Cine Plus Club: Cine Plus Award
Award for distribution: €15,000 ($17,000) to the French distributor that acquires the film in the next two years.
“Diógenes,” (Leonardo Barbuy La Torre, Perú)
A prize in services of €5,000 ($5,650) for the sound mix and €2,000 ($2,260) of digital deliveries (DCP, ProRes, KDM, tapes) for the awarded producer.
“Journey to the Land of the Tarahumara,” (Federico Cecchetti, Mexico, U.S.)
Sofía Films Award
Color correction and completion of a film, plus a VFX supervisor
“Soy lo que Nunca Fui,” Rodrigo Álvarez Flores, Mexico)
Nmf Y Color Front Award
A DCP print for the selected film.
“Journey to the Land of the Tarahumara”
Final sound mixing service, check mix 5.1 or 7.0.
“The Face of the Jelllyfish,” (Melisa Liebenthal, Argentina)
$4,000 CAACI Award
“Saudade Became Home,” (Haroldo Borges, Brazil)
Cine Plus Club: Cine Plus Award
Award for distribution: € 15.000 ($17,000) to the French distributor.
“Sublime,” (Mariano Biasin, Argentina)
€1,500 ($1,600) for the subtitles and DCP of the selected film, given to the distributor.
“Mars One,” (Gabriel Martins, Brazil)
Subtitling in two languages of the European Union, made by Apclai Subtitles.
“Faraway Song,” (Clarissa Campolina, Brazil)
“Tinnitus,” Gregorio Graziosi (Brazil)
AR$500,000 ($5,000) to promote the development of the series.
“Ayelén and the Forest Shadow,” (Luz Rapoport, Celeste Lambert Sofía Sauval, Argentina)
“The Eagle Heist,” (Rodolfo Santullo, Uruguay)
“The Lost Ones,” (Jotagá Crema y Mariana Thomé, Brazil)
Mentoring on project development; advice on sales strategy.
“MDQueen,” (Hernán Belón, Tamara Viñes, Argentina)
Special mention for a documentary series
“Memories of the Future,” (Roberta Miller, Argentina)
Award in bitcoins equivalent to $1,000 to promote the development of a project bible and first three episode scripts.
“Kenchikka’s Salt Flat,” (Pablo Cuturrufo, Chile)
Marché du Film–Festival de Cannes Award
Accreditation for one of the producers of the project to participate at Producers Network 2022 of the Marché du Film–Festival de Cannes.
Benny Drechsel, producer of “Alfredo Laron” (Benjamin Mirguet, Germany, France, Ecuador)
Burak Çevik, producer of “Another Possibility,” (Burak Çevik, Turkey, Germany)
Jamie Weiss, producer of “The Future Hasn’t Changed Us,” (Adrián Orr, Spain, Portugal)
Accreditation to take part at MIFA Annecy 2022.
“San Misterio,” (Carlos Sallas, Mexico)
“Sur Marina,” (Mariano Rojo, Nicolás Couvin, Argentina)
One accreditation and official selection to be part of Animation! Special Program @ MIFA 2022 for the projects
“Cotton Bottom Town,” (Felipe Rodríguez , Colombia)
“Berg’s Books,” (Rubens Belli, Brazil)
“Chaskis – Mensajeros del sol,” (Alex Agurto Quesada, Peru)
“Halloween,” (Silvia Prietov, Colombia)
La Liga de la Animación Iberoamericana Award
Ticket, accommodation, accreditation and support for one project for the 2022 edition of the Quirino Awards (Spain) and Pixelatl Festival (Mexico).
Market Pass and accommodation for one project
for the 2022 edition of Pixelatl Festival.
“Kaddy: The Fabulous Chaos Enchantress,” (Lucila Iñiguez, Argentina)
Weird Animation, Video Games & New Media Market Award
Accreditation for the 2022 edition to the most promising IP.
“Hanta,” (Emilio Ramos, Mexico, Portugal, Canada)
Señal Colombia Award
Direct pass to pitch for a project in the 2022 edition of Mercado de Coproducción de -RTVC- Señal Colombia.
Quirino Ibero-American Animation Award
Accreditation and meals for one project for the 2022 edition of Quirino Awards.
“San Misterio,”(Carlos Sallas, Mexico)
Sitges, Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia Award
Participation in the industry program of the next edition of Sitges Pitchbox. The prize includes an invitation to one representative, director or producer.
“Upiro,” (Óscar Martín, Elena Muñoz, Spain)
“Hour of the Sorcerer,” (Cristian Ponce, Argentina)
Participation in the next edition of the industry program NAFF/B.I.G at BiFan, the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival in Korea. The prize includes the invitation of one representative, director or producer.
Apima Asociación de Productores Independientes de Medios Audiovisuales Awards
Award for the development of a dossier for the project with the most potential in genre markets. The award is a mentorship for the participants, consisting of two meetings with executive producers with experience in the genre film world.
“Intruder Eyes,” (Fercks Castellani, Argentina).
Cine Qua Non Lab
An initial script analysis, a consultancy and a follow-up session valued at $3,000.
La Mayor Award
Service of final mix check, mix 5.1 or 7.0 , for the selected film.
“Eros Thanatos,” (Felipe Eluti, Chile).
Sofia Films Award
Color correction composing plus VFX supervisor for one selected film.
“The Farm,” (Alberto Serra, Panamá).
Post-production package for one film at Blood Window’s screenings
“Níobe,” (Fernando González Cruz de Mamar, Brazil).
Use of the color correction room for a 2D feature film and DCP mastering.
“In the Forest,” (Christian Rojas, Pablo Juela, Ecuador).
Blood Window Screenings Award
Participation in the next edition of Blood Window Showcase at the 2022 Marché du Film at Cannes. The prize is made in collaboration with the Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia. The film will be endorsed by Sitges and considered for the next edition of the festival.
“The Basement of Scream Street,” (Sabrina Greve, Brazil)
Género-Dac Award (Argentine Film Directors)
Distribution and exhibition consultancy workshop at the CEP/DAC 2022 EGA-Espacio de Gestión Audiovisual Seminar.
“Ñusta,” (Christian Rojas, Ecuador, Argentina, Bolivia)
“Puerperas,” by (Cecilia Del Valle, Argentina)
Apima Género Award
From the Asociación de Productorxs Independientes de Medios Audiovisuales. Production mentoring, with two meetings with a producer belonging to the Commission.
“Racing the Valley,” (Jimena Ledgard, Peru, U.K.)
Special Mention: “Puerperas,” (Cecilia Del Valle, Argentina)
“Siringa,” (Gabriela Paz Ybarnegaray, Bolivia, Chile)
Voice Acting Package.
“I’m Not Jelly,” (Diana Limón, Mexico)
Patricio Saiz Award
Narrative and script advisory.
“Talara,” (Elina Azona, Argentina)
La Corte Editores Award
Supervision for producing a Video Game trailer.
Plug In Digital Award
Coaching on distribution of a Video Game.
“Noir Storm,” (Iván Jesús Mastrandrea, Argentina)
EL PRINCIPIO DEL FILM
Final Draft Award
One certificate for digital download of Final Draft screenwriting software.
“Aguamala,” (Jorge Lopez Villarreal, México)
“UKU,” (Javier Camilo Aranguren Montañe, Colombia)
“Tierramar,” (Nancy Iris Quiroga, Argentina), “The Police,” (Dante Valdés, Chile)
“Passengers of the Final Journey,” (Marta María Borrás, Cuba)
“Familial,” (Valeria Fontán, Matías Paparamborda, Uruguay)
“Murky Earth,” (Augusto Brasil, Brazil)
Latin American Training Center-LATC Award
Every participant of the 2021 edition will have access to a masterclass on pitching, given by consultant Kate Lyradel for the Latin American Training Center’s Global Film & TV Program.
Señal Colombia Award
This award gives a project the option to go directly to pitch at the Co-Production Market of RTVC-Señal Colombia, one of the most advanced stages in its selection process.
“Female Dragon Tamers,” (Damian Leibovich, Argentina)
Ventana Sur Award
Selected projects awarded an honorary recognition from Ventana Sur, allowing the project to participate in international markets and festivals in a more accessible way.
“The Ones Who Leave,” (Diego Lublinsky, Argentina)
“Ccipna, Intercultural Community City of Peoples and Nationalities,” (Juan Carlos Donoso Gómez, Ecuador, U.S.)
“The Unseen Hero,” (Santiago Zegarra, Peru)
“Uncle Tommy – The Man who Founded News-Week,” (Loli Menezes, Brazil)
Jimmie Linville contributed to this article.