Chile’s Sanfic Industria, the industry section of the Santiago International Film Festival (Sanfic), and Grupo Morbido, the Mexican horror conglomerate, have unveiled details for the 2021 Sanfic-Morbido industry events unspooling in early November, as well as a special poster designed by Chilean-Ecuadorian artist Alberto Montt to mark the occasion.
In August 2019, Sanfic and Grupo Morbido announced a collaborative venture which would see Grupo Morbido founder and CEO Pablo Guisa attend and participate in a dedicated genre project section at the South American festival. Later that year, the first ever Sanfic Morbido Fest prize was awarded to Pilar Díaz, producer of Florencia Dupont’s “Aracne.”
Their arrangement was expanded upon in February 2020, when the two organizations embarked on a joint horror initiative to promote and grow the genre cinema industry in Chile and South America at large. Like so many best laid plans at that time, however, arrangements were thrown into upheaval by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Undeterred, the organizations adapted and hosted an online Sanfic-Morbido Lab 2020 in March of this year.
Now, back and in person, the 2021 Sanfic-Morbido Lab will take place at the end of this month where a six-pack of promising projects will look to scare up interest from potential co-production partners and financial backers. Additionally, a series of public screenings for high-profile genre films from around the world has been organized under the label Morbido Fest at Sanfic.
“The partnership between Sanfic and Morbido diversifies and presents new and better options both for professionals and audiences interested in genre,” Morbido founder and CEO Pablo Guisa told Variety. “This year we will present an official selection of five new films for the first Morbido Fest at Sanfic Industria which will consist of screenings at venues in both Santiago and Valparaiso, along with the Sanfic-Morbido Lab. We´ll host events that will be covering an area that ranges from film development to promotion and exhibition.”
“This is the first time that Sanfic-Morbido is hosting functions open to the public, and we’re thrilled with how our collaborative work with Pablo and Grupo Morbido has grown,” added Sanfic Industria head Gabriela Sandoval.
With everyone still in a haunting mood after Halloween, the Sanfic Industria-Morbido screenings will mark the Chilean premieres for each of the five features, playing between Nov. 1-5.
Having screened at several major festivals this year and winning best visual effects and the critics’ choice for best film at Sitges as well as best animated feature and most groundbreaking film at Fantasia, Phil Tippet’s long-gestated stop motion film “Mad God” is an obvious standout. A Chilean co-production, the anthology film “Apps,” featuring five technology-themed horror stories is sure to delight the hometown crowd.
Also screening are two Argentine films, Jimena Monteoliva’s Sitges player “Bievenidos al Infierno,” about a woman hiding out from the ruthless father of her unborn child, and former Mar del Plata winner Daniel de la Vega’s “On the 3rd Day,” following a mother looking for her lost son who uncovers a much larger plot than she bargained for; and Mario Muñoz’s “Los Minutos Negros,” a competition player at this year’s Morelia Festival in Mexico.
Six feature projects will participate in this year’s Sanfic-Morbido Lab, where producers will spend three days under the tutelage of Guisa, learning about development, promotion and exhibition. A legendary pitchman himself, he will also prep the teams to pitch in front of industry guests and experts attending the Sanfic Industria event. Participants will also receive feedback from Spanish horror auteur Adrian Garcia Bogliano (“Cold Sweat,” “Here Comes the Devil”).
Mexico provides the bulk of this year’s projects, including Alejandro Alegre’s “El Sol Consumirá Todo,” a story about a dark family secret uncovered after a patriarch’s death; Carlos Meléndez’s “The Roots of Evil,” unspooling in Mexico’s Ministry of Exorcism, a department specialized in the religious procedure; Walter Alvarez’s “Pájaro Sagrado,” about memory, family and witchcraft; and “Zarzal,” a supernatural tale in which hordes of demon children inhabit a deserted town from Morbido team members Gabriel Govela Azuela and Patricio Bidault.
“The second edition of Sanfic-Morbido Lab grows and consolidates as an important starting point for new genre projects, now including the documentary format. We have continued working and following up with the projects presented in the first edition and will soon start pre-production on two of them,” said Guisa. “We also plan to continue supporting more projects from each edition with funding and by bringing them to the attention of other potential producers in the region.”
MORBIDO SANFIC 2021
“Bienvenidos al Infierno” (Jimena Monteoliva, Crudo Films, Argentina)
“Los Minutos Negros” (Mario Muñoz, Voces Imaginarias, Mexico)
“Apps” (Sandra Arriagada, Camilo León, Lucio A. Rojas, José Miguel Zuñiga, Samot Marquez, Chile, Argentina)
“On the 3rd Day” (Daniel de la Vega, Del Toro Films, Furia Films, Argentina)
“Mad God” (Phil Tippet, Tippett Studio, U.S.)
MORBIDO LAB 2021
“El Sol Consumirá Todo” (Alejandro G. Alegre, Mexico)
“The Roots of Evil” (Carlos Meléndez, Mexico)
“The Mermaid of Monterrey” (Marlene Grinberg, Argentina)
“Pájaro Sagrado” (Walter Alvarez, Mexico)
“Retratos” (Gabriel Musco, Argentina)
“Zarzal” (Gabriel Govela, Patricio Bidault, Mexico)