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Malaga Movie Projects: Highlights and Details

Courtesy of Bruno Barreto

Unspooling March 21-25, the Malaga Festival Fund & Co-Production Event project (MAFF) provides a forum for Latin American film projects to seek international production partnerships. Costa Rican productions will be highlighted by subsection Costa Rica Guest Country. 

The socially impactful film “The Silence of the Earth” will feature in the MAFF Social subsection. Female directors earn special emphasis in the Women Screen Industry section. 

Following, the profiles of MAFF production.

All My Journey Are Journeys of Return,” (Manuel Ponce de León, Colombia)

A time-jumping, genre-blending “delirious adventure,” say its makers, from Los Niños Films and Vorágine, currently in production on the World Cinema Fund-backed “Carropasajero.” It depicts a journey which begins in the Rio Magdalena, in the early 19th century, during a search for poet Gaspar de la Noche, who has gone missing in northern Sweden. Carolina Zarate produces.

Before the Memory,” (“Antes del recuerdo,” Joaquín González, Uruguay)

Shepherded by Agustina Chiarino, one of Uruguay’s most ambitious film producers (“Giant,” “So Much Water,” “Monos”), González’s follow-up to feature debut “Alter: The Amazing Story of  Luismi Evans,” in which he films his child’s first four years of life.

Diamond,” (Yashira Jordan, Bolivia-Argentina)

A Proyecta title at 2021’s Ventana Sur, lead produced by Bolivia’s Empatia Cinema, framing a coming-of-age drama of a rebel with a cause: Petra, a teen singer who combines her indigenous language of Quechua with hip hop sub-genre trap. A project to track.

Godspeed, Satan” (“Adiós a Satán,” José Pablo Escamilla, México)

Escamilla’s follow-up to “Mostro,” his gender violence-themed feature debut, an essay in “Mexican capitalist realism” also notable for its near experimental edge and sensorial visuals. In his second feature, once more produced by Diandra Arriaga at Mexico’s La Colmena collective, a bourgeois teen, discovering his father has a second family, develops a dangerous friendship with his factory boy half-brother.

Kaye,” (Juan Cáceres, Chile, France)

Unveiled at 2019’s Italy’s BioCine Meetings, where it won best pitch, and at 2020’s Guadalajara fest, director Cáceres and producer Alejandro Ugarte’s long-awaited follow up to hit debut feature “Perro Bomba,” developed at Cannes Residence. Yeka, 13, sees her best friend killed by a stray bullet. When no culprit is found, she infiltrates a supposed family of drug-traffickers but what she finds bucks all her prejudices. Already sparking large interest in Europe.

Loretta Young and the Monsters,” (Javier Andrade, María de los Ángeles Palacios)

Produced by Ecuador’s Punk, behind Andrade’s Málaga competition player “Lo Invisible,” this film acts as a change of direction for Andrade, packing a fantasy horror tale turning on a 15-year-old in a small fishing village.

Man in Orbit,” (Nadir Medina, Argentina)

A LGBTQ sci-fi drama on Argentina’s fictitious launch of a first man into space in 1960, Agustín, an astronaut in training, discovers feelings for a young cook, Fermín, and determines, despite a violent storm and anti-government protests, that the mission must go on. This film serves as the fourth feature from Córdoba-based Medina, whose “Lxs  Desobedientes” is soon to bow. Natalí Córdoba produces.

Mars at Nightfall,” (“Muerte al anochecer,” Edgar Sajcabún, Guatemala, Panama)

Cuba-trained director Edgar Sajcabún – a Mayan Kaqchikel, awarded best script development at the Sami Indigenous Film Institute for his film “Time in the Mountains” – tells the story of an indigenous boy desperate to improve his family’s economic situation to prevent his father’s emigration for better economic opportunities.

Red Sea,” (“Mar Rojo,” Javier Tolontino, Spain)

A creative musical doc feature turning on Tolontino’s take on Catalonia, filtered through an encounter with Marin Rossell, beginning with its creation, ending with its presentation in Barcelona’s El Liceo. Scheduled to shoot Sept. 2022.

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The Retornee,” (Armando Capó, Cuba-Dominican Republic)

The awaited second fiction feature movie from Capó whose Cuban rafters tale “August” was a highlight at Cannes Cinema du Monde in 2014 and, years in the making, world premiered at Toronto in 2019. In “The Retornee,” written by Laura Conyedo, 18-year-old Mandi returns to Gibara, a small coastal village in eastern Cuba but daily farce, kitsch, bureaucracy and even newly found love prove suffocating. A double Cuban Film Fund awardee produced by Rosa María Rodríguez.

Sisters,” (Ione Hernández, Spain)

Produced by the indefatigable Spanish indie bastion Luis Collar and directed Ione Hernández (“Aizea: City of the Wind”), a family party ends in a son, 18, abusing his 13-year-old female cousin, sewing ineradicable discord between their mothers. A Ventana CineMad winner in Dec. 2021 with Elena Anaya (“The Skin I live In”) and Emma Suárez (“Julieta”) in talks to star.

The Street Walkers,” (Juan Martín Hsu, Argentina, Peru)

The potential third feature of Argentina’s Juan Martín Hsu, who broke out with the immigration-themed “La Salada,” a 2013 San Sebastian Films in Progress winner screened in 2015 at Toronto. Produced by Mariana Luconi.

Three Songs,” (Adrià Guxens, Spain-Belgium)

Scriptwriters Miquel Grau and Raindance programmer Adrià Guxens (“The Door,” Toronto Film Festival), who also directs the film, take on the social exclusion of LGBT youth through their film “Three Songs,” which has confirmed co-production with Bulletproof Cupid and is searching for a Latin American production company.

Variable Capital,” (Marco Caltieri, Uruguay)

Best known as a commercials director at Montevideo’s Cholo Films, Caltieri aims to make his feature film debut with an anti-system black comedy thriller: Financial consultants meet on an island where they come face to face with the victims of the policies they recommend. They face the worst night of their lives. If they survive.  Clara Charlo produces.

White Rabbit,” (José Lomas Hervert, Mexico, U.S.)

José Lomas Hervert, whose “Potosi” won Best First Mexican Feature Award at Guanajuato International Film Festival, directs a tale of two teenagers on each side of the US-Mexico border. Paulina Villavicencio (“Jairo’s Revenge,” Audience Award in Sitges, 2019) produces with Edher Campos, a Cannes Camera d’Or winner with “Leap Year” and producer on Un Certain Regard laureate “La Jaula de Oro.”

MAFF Social

The Silence of the Earth,” (Eulogio Romero, Spain-France)

Acclaimed documentalist Eulogio Romero, whose work has aired on HBO and Movistar Plus while he has also directed RTVE production “Edelweiss,” takes on the deaths of three environmental activists across Latin America. Albert Sagalés at Diagonal TV whose “The Bookshop” won three Goya awards in 2018 leads the production and Crescendo Media Films (which produced HBO España’s “El Nudo”) co-produces.

Women Screen Industry

Juliet & Camille,” (Paloma Zapata, Spain, Peru)

A portrait of two women musicians finding themselves, one by returning to her native Perú, another, who grew up in an immigrant neighbourhood in France, by moving to an uninhabited village in Galicia.

Six,” (Rocío Martín, Spain)

Four sisters have met every year for the past two decades to commemorate the death of their parents and open old wounds, driven by ambition, the search for attention, old grievances and economic motives. La Filmahora’s David González produces the “drama with hints of black comedy.”

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Turtle Time – Suricata Stories Courtesy of Suricata Stories

Turtle Time,” (Mariona Guiu, Spain)

Encountering footage filmed by her optimistic father of their family, daughter Mariona tells her family story, including its hidden traumas, such as some members’ mental health. Guiu teams with producer Ariadna Relea at Catalonia’s Suricata Stories, following on their notable “Singled [Out].”

Antonia,” (Toñi Martín Zorrilla, Spain)

Short-film director Toñi Martín Zorrilla leads this drama feature film, the story of Soledad, whose investigation into family secrets leads her to a dead actress, Antonia. Fiction and documentary production company Amaranzo Producciones produces, and Sinuhé Muñoz Martín – whose Peruvian political documentary, “Las huellas del sendero,” won the Special Award for Defense of Human Rights – serves as EP.

Costa Rica Guest Country

Space is a Monstrous Animal,” (Natalia Solórzano Vásquez, Costa Rica)

Producer Karolina Hernández, who produced Costa Rica’s “El Baile de la Gacela” and pan-Central-American production “Días de Luz,” brings director Natalia Solórzano Vásquez’s documentary about Adolfo, a Costa Rican astronaut.

Great Art Will Be Destroyed,” (Fernando Fonseca-Espinoza, Costa Rica-Colombia)

Inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic, Fernando Fonseca-Espinoza’s future drama is produced by Mariana Murillo, whose “Land of Ashes” served as Costa Rica’s International Feature Film submission and premiered at Cannes Critics’ Week in 2019. Firm Sputnik Films produces.

Proyectos Acuerdos

The Cry of the Tide,” (Maggie Zacarias Mandujano, Sanfic Labs, Peru-Argentina)

Director Maggie Zacarias Mandujano’s first feature fiction film, drama-thriller “The Cry of the Tide” takes on the sexual assault of Julieta and her search for her rapist. This film serves as documentary producer Doris Mandujano Orna’s first fiction feature film production, having aired documentaries across Latin America.

Devils Os Fernando,” (Caio Dornelas,Cinemundi , Brazil)

Brazilian director Caio Dornelas’ first feature film, after three short films, “Devils Os Fernando” details the story of a Brazilian political prisoner’s dilemma: Escape, or continue his current love interest? 9 Oitavos Produções, who produced Caio Dornelas’ short films, produces this feature.

Gallop,” (Bruno Barreto, Bolivia Lab, Argentina)

Director Bruno Barreto (Cameraman for “The Leading Actor,” assistant director for “Ángeles”) tells a story with script writer Dana Gómez of the rocky road of Josué joining the National Gendarmerie. Belén Revollo (1st prize Content Creators Against Gender Violence) produces.

Anatomy of the Horses,” (Daniel Vidal Toche, DAFO, Peru-Spain-France)

Peruvian documentary film-maker Daniel Vidal Toche, whose 2020 medium-length documentary “Salir de Aquí” premiered in the Official Selection of Malaga and DocLisboa, tells the story of a fugitive in Spanish imperial Peru who runs into a space and time-bending situation. Pioneros Producciones EIRL, which produced “Powerful Chief,” Peru’s entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 2021 Academy Awards, produces.