Ventana Sur

Source: Courtesy of Ventana Sur

Ventana Sur

Filmmakers let fly with their pitches on Tuesday (10) at the inaugural Proyecta session organised by Ventana Sur and San Sebastian Film Festival to foster co-productions with Latin America.

Among those under the spotlight are The Jungle, a Swiss project that director Matthias Huser explained was a 1970s-set family drama that morphs via a “feverish” storytelling tone into an experimental film.

The film centres on Sheila, who returns to her childhood home where her dying father tries to convince her to continue his life’s work and protect a patch of jungle. Some 20% of the budget is in place and The Jungle has support from the Zurich Film Foundation and MEDIA Desk Suisse, and Success Cinema.

Producer and 8horses co-founder Tolga Dilsiz said they were looking for Latin American co-production partners as 99% of the story takes place in the jungle, a ecosystem Switzerland is clearly not known for.

The French Teacher is a Brazilian thriller presented by Brasil CineMundi. Ricardo Alves Jr will direct and Thiago Macedo Correia of Entrefilmes produces the story inspired by the current political climate that has seen Brazil swing to the right and usher in president-elect Jair Bolsonaro.

The story follows Grace, an independent black woman and private French tutor working in a large Brazilian metropolis who becomes entangled with a family of religious extremists. Grace Passo (Torino Film festival best actress winner for Long Way Home) will star, and Alves Jr recently completed the screenplay in anticipation of a start of production in the first half of 2020.

Brazilian distributor Embaúba Filmes is on board, and the filmmakers say they are looking for Brazilian public funding to cover some 60% of the budget, and want to find co-production partners and a sales agent to cover the balance.

Proyecta selections include Colombian drama Sandra, about a security guard who embarks on an affair with a bus driver. Yennifer Uribe will direct the project and along with producer Alexander Arbelaez is looking for Latin America and European co-producer partners and lab funding. Some 20% of funding is already in place and Sandra has support from Medellin Major.

Other projects in the line-up in search of partners and production finds are: Supernova, Natalia Lopez Gallardo’s Mexican drama about a mother on a self-destructive search for meaning; Enrico Maria Artale’s Pablo (Italy), a drama about the son of a former cocaine mule who ingests his mother’s ashes as a way of smuggling her remains back to Colombia; Marco Diaz Sosa’s satirical comedy Shock Labor (Cuba-Argentina) about an expectant nurse in 1980s Cuba who is carried by a tornado to a luxury resort where her skills as a marksman earn her acceptance; and Andrew Sala’s western La Barbarie (Argentina-Brazil).

The selection includes: Aparicio Garcia Gorostiaga’s dark crime comedy Matufia (Uruguay), about a sport journalist on the trail of the person or persons who shot him; Manuela Martelli’s 1970s socio-political drama 1976 (Chile); Meritxell Colell’s road movie Duo (Spain-Argentina-France-Chile); Maximiliano Schonfeld’s drama Jesús López (Argentina) about a stubborn teenager mourning his dead friend; Stefano Pasetto’s The Veil (Belgium-Italy-Argentina), about a nun’s family secrets; Paula Hopf’s father-daughter drama A Normal Girl (Mexico); and Lara Izagirre Garizurieta’s comedy road movie Ane & Peio, A Paprika Love Story (Spain-France).