Blood Window, the first Latin American Fantastic Film Market, has been attracting plenty of interest at the fifth edition of Ventana Sur (Dec 3-6) in Buenos Aires.

Dedicated to the genre in all of its diversity, the new section presents 56 films produced between 2011 and 2013, including works-in-progress and projects.

“The idea is to offer a space for Latin American ‘fantastic’ films where distributors, sales agents, directors and festival programmers from the five continents can have access to all the productions in different stages,” said Blood Window coordinator Javier Fernandez.

The so-called ‘fantastic’ cinema is particularly vibrant in Latin America. “In countries like Mexico, Chile, Argentina and Brazil, this genre grew strong thanks to the creation of film schools and specialised festivals such as Morbido in Mexico, Fantaspoa in Brazil and Buenos Aires Rojo Sangre in Argentina,” added Fernandez.

Renowned directors to come up through the movement, according to Fernandez, include Adrian Gracia Bogliano from Argentina who directed Ahi Va El Diablo (2012), Jorge Michel Grau from Mexico (Somos Lo Que Hay, 2011), Jorge Olguin from Chile (Gritos Del Bosque, 2013) and Rodrigo Aragão from Brazil, who directed Black Sea (pictured), which screened at Ventana Sur this week.

In total, six films, completed or in post-production, are screening at the market. They include: Black Sea and Fernando Mantelli’s Restless Sea from Brazil; Mauricio Brunetti’s The Innocents and Gabriel Grieco’s Still Life from Argentina; Miguel Urrutia’s Colombian film The Game Of The Hangman and Rodrigo Susarte’s Chilean entry Window.

“We see a lot of excitement around Blood Window, not only from specialised buyers but from distributors too,” said Jérome Paillard, one of the Ventana Sur executive directors. “I think there are plenty of good opportunities for theses films, not only in VOD and DVD, but even theatrically in some countries.”

There are some indicators that the film industry has embraced the genre. “In recent years, there is a growing intersection between the generic film festivals and the ‘fantastic’ film festivals,” said Lindsay Peters, programmer at Montreal’s Fantasia International Film Festival.

The genre is gaining more respect in the market by combining elements of the fantastic, bizarre and horror with strong subject matters and an acclaimed film-making. Examples include Leos Carax’s Holy Motors and Lars von Trier’s Melancholia, both of which screened in competition in Cannes in recent years.

“Since Blue Velvet in the 80s, great directors like David Lynch began to borrow elements from the genre, a practice that has been radicalised over time,” said Sitges director Angel Sala. “Today all genres are mixed and the directors who embrace the ‘fantastic’ approach can do it without being ashamed of it.”