Gabriel Martins’ family drama “Marte Um” (“Mars One”) has won Ventana Sur’s Paradiso WIP Award, the new prize jointly instituted by Brazil’s Projeto Paradiso and the Cannes-backed Argentine market-festival.
Produced by Thiago Macêdo Correia at Filmes de Plástico, “Mars One” will receive a $10,000 prize and a special screening during the upcoming edition of Ventana Sur, running Nov. 29-Dec. 3.
For Ventana Sur, only projects in post-production with a majority or minority Brazilian participation were able to apply for the Paradiso WIP Award. These projects can also apply to Ventana’s Primer Corte sidebar.
A special jury appointed by Ventana Sur chose the winning film.
The Paradiso WIP Award is a philanthropic initiative unveiled in July by the Olga Rabinovich Institute’s org Projeto Paradiso. It forms part of its program, Brasil no Mundo.
Dubbed a “Brazilian tale of hope and stars,” “Mars One” revolves around the Martins, a lower-middle-class black family from the outskirts of the Brazilian city of Contagem who wake up in a country that had just elected an extremist right-wing president.
Eunice, daughter of the Martin family, tries to figure out who she is as she starts university and meets a girl who shakes her world. Tércia, the mother, loses her joy of living after being a victim of a TV prank that leaves her thinking she might be cursed.
A recovering alcoholic, Wellington, the father, works as a doorman in an upper-class building while planning his son’s future career as a national soccer star.
However, Deivid, the son, despite having talent on the field, has a different dream for his life: to become an astrophysicist and be part of the first mission to Mars, in the year 2030.
As the months pass, the Martins family will have to find a way of coping with all the problems of the present while still dreaming of a better future.
“Mars One” marks Gabriel Martins’ sophomore film following “In the Heart of the World,” co-directed alongside Maurilio Martins, which premiered in 2019 in Rotterdam’s Tiger Competition, kicking-off an international film festivals and theatrical run which took it to territories such as France, where it was released by Survivance.
Gabriel Martins also wrote 2014 Brazilian box-office hit “Alemao,” a Hanway Films international pick-up.
Minas Gerais-based, Filmes de Plástico’s company partners take in producer Thiago Macêdo Correia, Novais Oliveira, Gabriel Martins and Maurilio Martins.
Also a partner at Malute Filmes outfit, Macêdo Correia has produced some of the most important films in the new wave of Brazilian cinema, often award-winning titles such as Joao Salaviza and Renée Nader Mesora’s “The Dead and the Others,” winner of the Special Jury Prize at Cannes’ Un Certain Regard in 2018. “The Dead” was Macedo’s fourth film selected by Cannes after three previous entries at the Directors’ Fortnight.
Further Macêdo Correia-produced films include “Temporada,” “In the Heart of the World,” “Baronesa,” “Elon Doesn’t Believe in Death,” “The Hidden Tiger,” “She Comes Back on Thursday” and “Araby.”
The Projeto Paradiso initiative aims to boost the presence of Brazilian talents, projects and films at the world’s major international markets and festivals.
Further Projeto Paradiso prizes are also adjudicated at the San Sebastian and Guadalajara International Film Festivals as well as the Cinéma en Construcción section of the Cinélatino Rencontres de Toulouse.