New projects by Argentina’s Anahí Berneri and Emiliano de Torres, both big winners at San Sebastian, feature in the 14-project lineup for San Sebastian’s 2022 Europe-Latin America Co-production Forum, the Spanish Festival’s biggest industry event.
Now preparing her sixth feature, Berneri debuted in 2005 with Berlin Teddy Award winner, “A Year Without Love.”
Famed as an early Daniel Burman co-scribe and longtime AD, Torres’ career dates back to the turn of the century, although he only saw his feature debut, “The Winter,” bow in 2016.
Berneri and Torres are joined at the Forum by prospective new titles from established filmmakers such as Chile’s Niles Atallah, Spain’s Helena Taberna and Brazil’s Beatriz Seigner.
At least half the berths at this year’s Co-production Forum are taken by a new generation of emerging directors who have debuted from 2016, snagging slots at Sundance (Rodrigo Ruiz Patterson, “Summer White,” 2019), Cannes Critics’ Week (Sofía Quiros, “Land of Ashes,” 2019), Berlin Panorama (Clarisa Navas, “One of a Thousand,” 2020 ) or Toronto (Agustina San Martin, “To Kill a Beast,” 2021).
Ulises Porra’s second feature “Carajita” won San Sebastian’s own prestigious New Directors strand last year in a competition that also featured Juan Sebastián Mesa’s “The Rust,” his sophomore outing.
10 of the 14 projects would be second or third features. Their issues – and those of more mature directors – are very much of this age: a female friendship tale (“La Hija del General”); Argentine rural queer sensibility (“They Burn in the Same Way”); a woman’s renouncement of family (“Rona”); contemporary solitude (“To Die on Your Feet”).
Epitomising a new generation, one project, Manuel Luque’s “Inspection on Earth,” is sci-fi, another “Todo el mundo,” from Argentina’s Agustina San Martín, who caught attention with her atmospheric genre allegory “To Kill a Beast.”
San Sebastian 2022 Europe-Latin America Co-production Forum Contenders:
“The Blue Flamingo,” (“Voo do Flamingo,” Beatriz Seigner, Brazil)
Produced by Brazil’s Abrolhos Filmes and Globo Filmes,
and pitched at Rome’s MIA Market in 2020, a drama about a boy, 11, travelling to a largely abandoned beach town to meet his father for the first time. Seigner’s fiction feature follow-up to the multi-prized “Los Silencios.”
“Condensed Milk,” (“Leche Condensada,” Anahí Berneri, Argentina)
From the subtle Berneri, a San Sebastian director winner for 2017’s “Alanis,” “a coming-of-age film about late teenagers and romantic perversions,” she says, based on Mariana Flores’ novel. The first project from Pablo Udenio’s new outfit, Dukka. Producciones.
“La Hija del General,” (Rodrigo Ruiz Patterson, Mexico)
Set up at Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna’s La Corriente del Golfo, a friendship tale between two – very different – women during the Mexican Revolution. Directed by Ruiz Patterson, who scored with 2020 Sundance-selected “Summer White,” a psychologically acute coming-of-age-film.
“Inspection on Earth,” (“Inspección en la tierra,” Mariano Luque, Argentina)
Writer-director-producer Luque returns to San Sebastián, where his first feature, “Salsipuedes,” played at Horizontes Latinos in 2012. Set in the coastal town of Los Molinos Lake, in Argentina’s Córdoba, “Inspection” follows a chronicler and a cameraman who must solve the mystery of an alien invasion. “The pandemic made me rethink the sci-fi genre, I approach it through humor,” Luque said.
“Lovers Go Home!” (Juan Sebastián Mesa, Colombia)
From Mesa, director of the well-received “Rust,” the meeting of a U.S. war vet and Colombian webcamer, both scared literally by the past. “Lovers” explores “the geopolitics of bodies and characters’ emotional score,” says Mesa. From one of Colombia’s top production houses, Federico Durán’s Rhayuela.
“Madre Pájaro,” (Sofía Quirós Úbeda, Costa Rica-Argentina)
Quirós Úbeda’s sophomore film reunites the same creative team behind her feature debut, 2019 Cannes Critics’ Week player “Land of Ashes,” with producers Mariana Murillo at Costa Rica’s Sputnik Films and Sazy Salim of Argentina’s Murillo Cine on board. In the project, after her mother’s illness, seven-year-old boy Oliver falls in love with Paloma, a 25-year old neighbor.
“Rona,” (Emiliano Torres, Argentina)
A return to the setting of Torres’’ debut “The Winter,” a 2016 Special Jury Prize and cinematography winner at San Sebastian, but this time round for what he calls a ”family drama framed in an existential adventure” as a married Norwegian women, given up for dead in the wilds of Patagonia, determines to make a fresh start in life.
“They Burn in the Same Way,” (“Se Queman de la Misma Forma,” Clarisa Navas, Argentina)
After her powerful breakout, “One in a Thousand,” which opened Berlin’s 2020 Panorama, Navas returns to the corrientes housing projects where she grew up for a doubles tory of mourning and an exploration of life-affirming Argentine rural queer sensibility.
“To Die on Your Feet,” (“Morir de Pie,” María Paz González, Chile)
Paz, an actress playing patients at a medical faculty, stops caring about other pole. “A bittersweet psychological drama laced with dark humor, about contemporary solitude,” says González. Lead produced by Giancarlo Nasi at Quijote Films (“White on White”), the preeminent Chilean production house.
“Us,” (“Nosotros,” Helena Taberna, Spain)
Taberna directs -– and also co-writes alongside Virginia Yagüe – the film adaptation of Isaac Rosa’s best-selling book “Feliz final,” a contemporary take on the myth of romantic love. Produced by Iker Ganuza at Spain’s Lamia Producciones, “We are looking for co-production partners and international sales agents,” Ganuza told Variety. RTVE has just acquired Spanish broadcast rights.
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