San Sebastian has announced the six titles from Chile, Mexico, Argentina and Nicaragua that will make up this year's Films In Progress section of the festival.
The projects are:
- Carlos Serrano Azcona's Mexican drama El Arbol about a man who has to turn his life around after being prevented from seeing his wife and child and then losing his job
- Santiago Loza's Artico, an Argentinian drama about a man travelling through treacherous landscapes to pay his wife's kidnap ransom and avoid police detection
- Cristian Jimenez' Chilean-Portuguese-French collaboration Ilusiones Opticas, following the lives of a shopping mall guard who falls for a thief, a hard working employee close to unemployment and a blind skier whose sight is returned
- Sebastian Silva's Chilean film La Nana about a bitter and introverted maid who is forced to put up with an assistant by her mistress
- Rigoberto Perezcano's Norteado, which sees a young boy make several dangerous attempts to cross the border from Mexico into the US
- And Florence Jaugey's La Yuma, a Nicaraguan-Mexican drama about a girl in a poor and violent neighbourhood who dreams of becoming a professional boxer.
The purpose of Films In Progress is to provide funding and entice backers for incomplete projects from emerging South American talent. A job at which it has become very successful.
'I come every year to San Sebastian to find pearls in the Films In Progress section,' says Alexandre Mallet-Guy, president of Memento Films, who discovered a rough cut of El Violin, Mexican director Francisco Vargas first film in Films In Progress back in 2005.
'I met the director after the screening. We ended up handling the world sales. It was a very successful experience. The film was presented in Cannes, Un Certain Regard where it won the best actor prize and we sold it all over the world.'
Other Films In Progress success stories include Tristan Bauer's Falkland War drama Blessed By Fire, which sold to more than 20 territories after appearing in the section, and Lina Chamie's The Milky Way, which was in Critics Week at Cannes last year.
Two of last year's Films In Progress award winners, Julio Hernandez Cordon's Gasolina and Federico Veiroj's Acne, both return to San Sebastian in the Horizontes Latinos section.