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Fernando Guzzoni’s “Blanquita Bueno,” Alonso Acosta’s “Almost Never Too Late” and Sebastian and Rodrigo Barriuso’s “1989” will be honed at the first 2015-16 Puentes meet which, co-organized by Uruguay’s Mutante Cine, unspools in Montevideo over Nov. 25-29, on the eve of the 7th Ventana Sur.
Part of the E.U. Creative Europe backed Eave program, Puentes, the most prominent of Europe-Latin American co-production workshops, sees industry tutors subjecting ten projects, five from each side of the Atlantic, to sustained development consultancy.
Coming in a year when Latin America swept many big prizes at the world’s biggest fests, injecting a surge of confidence into Latin-American filmmaking, Puentes almost inevitably features projects from producers behind some of the big kudos winners. Chile’s Giancarlo Nasi, who produces “Blanquita Bueno,” co-produced “Cesar Acevedo’s “Land and Shade,” which took Cannes’ Camera d’Or for best first feature. Lead produced »
- John Hopewell
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
Mexico City – Mundial, the sales venture of Stuart Ford’s Im Global and Mexico and L.A.–based Canana – headed by Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna and Pablo Cruz – has closed an exclusive sales pact with Monica Lozano, one of the most important producers in Mexico and indeed Latin America.
Based since 2008 out of Mexico City’s Alebrije Cine y Video, Lozano’s production credits include Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu’s debut “Amores Perros” and Eurgdenio Derbez’s “Instructions Not Included,” a title that, with Gaz Alazraki’s “The Noble Family,” consolidated a double market for Mexican films in the U.S. and Mexico.
“Instructions” proved the highest-grossing Mexican film in Mexico, with a $46.1 million trawl, and the biggest Spanish-language hit ever in the U.S. punching $44.5 million.
- John Hopewell
Morelia – Behind Impulso Morelia co-winner “Plaza de la Soledad,” the feature debut of Maya Goded, an internationally renown Mexican photographer, is getting-on-for-20-years of acquaintance, friendships, insights and photos – many photos, a 2006 book of the same title – of the prostitute community of La Merced, in central Mexico City, where women have sold their bodies since Aztec times.
Judging by the Impulso Morelia top prize and buzz emerging from an industry-only screening at Impulso Morelia, fest’s inaugural pix-in-post showcase, that deep knowledge has been put to very good use. In an early show of distribution interest, Cinepolis Distribución is offering a Mexico distribution guarantee and $15,000 P & A to “Plaza.”
A Magnum Agency photographer, Goded is multi-prized – by the W. Eugene Smith and Guggenheim Foundations and the Netherlands’ Prince Claus Prize. “Plaza” has
- John Hopewell
Morelia – In Morelia to present docu feature “El Patio de Mi Casa” by Carlos Hagerman and a work-in-progress presentation of acclaimed photographer Maya Goded’s searing docu “Plaza de la Soledad,” producer Martha Sosa seeks to straddle both worlds of fiction and non-fiction. “I’m more interested in documentaries that are character or story-driven, not reportage,” she said.
A co- executive producer of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s cinematic launchpad, “Amores Perros,” along with Monica Lozano under the now defunct AltaVista Films banner, Sosa has been producing documentaries in recent years, including the Emmy-winning 2011 docu “Presunto Culpable,” (“Presumed Guilty”), which caused a huge stir when the courts forced distributor Cinepolis to pull it from theaters.
Sosa is now developing “Mi Primer Amor” (“My First Love”), the debut fiction feature of Hagerman, her partner in prod. company La Sombra del Guayabo, whose past docus she has also produced. “This will mark my comeback to fiction, »
- Anna Marie de la Fuente
It seems that Mariana Arriaga has inherited something of her father’s earnest nature watching her short “En defense propia” (“In Self Defense”).
In it, a break-in goes wrong resulting in painful examination of how one processes another’s march to death, one beyond the observers’ control.
Mariana, the daughter of screenwriter-diredctor-producer Guillermo Arriaga (“Amores perros,” “Babel,” “Words with Gods”), the adorned and renowned king of Mexican screenplays, acknowledges that her father is her inspiring director.
When asked her favorite, she answered, “This is gonna be a little bit cheesy, but my father. He’s my biggest influence in life. I like the way he talks about human beings and these decisions and these situations that can take place in Japan, Morocco or Mexico,” she said. “It can take place everywhere.”
Guillermo Arriaga wrote “In Self-Defense” when in his twenties, adapting his own short story.
“At first I thought it »
- James Young
A heavy lineup of special guests, special screenings, expanded parallel programs and the always strong competition sections at the Morelia International Film Festival kick off Oct. 23 in what looks to be a particularly heavy-hitting edition of the confab.
Guillermo Del Toro’s latest, the period haunted mansion pic “Crimson Peak,” opens the festival, with the director in attendance. Del Toro will have a further lineup of screenings including his first feature, the seminal “Cronos.”
Morelia’s 13th edition wraps Nov. 1 with Sara Gavron’s historical drama “Suffragette.”
The fiction competition roster drops to 10 features from 12 in 2014 with noteworthy entries, including: Julio Hernandez Cordon’s “I Promise You Anarchy,2 the Glbt-themed coming-of-ager, which bowed in Locarno to solid reviews; Rodrigo Pla’s buzzy drama “A Monster with a Thousand Heads” (pictured), a tale of a woman’s struggle against the private-sector health care system; and late addition “The Pleasure is Mine, »
- James Young
London — Mexican writer, producer and screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga brings the Raindance Film Festival to a close this weekend with a masterclass on scriptwriting. Now 57, Arriaga came to international attention in Cannes with the 2000 Critics’ Week hit “Amores Perros.” The first in a trilogy made in collaboration with fellow Mexican Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, the film was followed by Venice and Cannes hits “21 Grams” and “Babel” in 2004 and 2006 respectively, and established Arriaga’s trademark non-linear, multiple-character writing style. After working with Tommy Lee Jones on the U.S. neo-western “The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada” in 2005, Arriaga made his directing debut in 2008 with “The Burning Plain,” an English-language domestic drama that starred Charlize Theron and gave an early platform to Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence.
Is it true that you don’t like the word “screenwriter”?
No, I have a problem with the word in Spanish. “Screenwriter” is the correct word in English because »
- Damon Wise
Guillermo del Toro has always been terrified and captivated by the supernatural.
His latest big-screen endeavor, “Crimson Peak,” marks the ninth movie in which the director explores otherworldly phenomena, and incorporates a recurring element of what he calls “horrible beauty.” The opening scene of the film, which hits theaters Oct. 16, was inspired by a ghostly encounter his mother had as a child, and was undoubtedly drawn from his own fears.
Born and raised in Guadalajara by a poet mother and businessman father, del Toro had his first spectral experience at around age 12. While in a room that once belonged to his late uncle, the boy heard the older man’s voice. Though the young del Toro was already deeply interested in the supernatural, and had even told his uncle to send him a sign if there was something beyond death, he wasn’t prepared for an occurrence. “I got very scared, »
- Jenelle Riley
The Venezuelan film From Afar was a decent pick for Venice’s top award, even if some of the other prizes handed out were somewhat on the mysterious side
Jaws dropped, but Venezuelan national pride soared, as a low-profile film from an unknown first-time director scooped the Venice film festival’s top prize the Golden Lion. Lorenzo Vigas’s film From Afar (Desde Allá) wasn’t considered by many as a front runner in a competition that included works from such high-profile names as Charlie Kaufman, Tom Hooper, performer turned director Laurie Anderson and 2011 Golden Lion winner Alexander Sokurov. But Vigas’s dark drama, about the relationship between a middle-aged gay man and a violent young street tough, was certainly one of the discoveries of the festival, and had plenty to recommend it – not least an audaciously minimalist performance from Alfredo Castro, the Chilean actor who in the last few »
- Jonathan Romney
"Lorenzo Vigas's debut film From Afar is a tightly controlled tale of quiet desperation and alienation set in present day Venezuela," writes CineVue's John Bleasdale, reviewing the film that's just won the Golden Lion in Venice and now heads to Toronto. The Hollywood Reporter's David Rooney makes note of the producing team: "Guillermo Arriaga, who also collaborated on the story, helped put Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu on the map with his screenplays for Amores Perros and 21 Grams, while Michel Franco's stark dramas, After Lucia and Chronic, have earned him admiration at Cannes in recent editions. Breakout star Edgar Ramirez (Carlos) and third-generation filmmaker Gabriel Ripstein are executive producers." We've got more reviews, the trailer and a few clips. » - David Hudson »
The first ever Venezuelan film to be selected for competition at the Venice film festival has carried off the top prize. Desde Allá (From Afar), directed by Lorenzo Vigas, was given the Golden Lion by a heavyweight festival jury headed by Gravity director Alfonso Cuaron, and including directors Lynne Ramsay, Pawel Pawlikowski, Hou Hsiao-hsien and Nuri Bilge Ceylan.
Vigas’ film was an unexpected winner, even if it carried the marque of influential Mexican scriptwriter Guillermo Arriaga (Amores Perros, Babel) among its credits. Starring Alfredo Castro, it is about a 50 year old man who pays young men for company but no physical intimacy, and is Vigas’ directorial debut.
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- Andrew Pulver
Venice – Venezuelan director Lorenzo Vigas’s striking first feature “From Afar,” about a middle-aged gay man who cruises the streets of Caracas searching for young companions, won the Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion.
“I want to dedicate this prize to my amazing country, Venezuela. We’ve been having some problems, but we’re very positive. We’re an amazing nation and we’re going to start talking to each other more,” said the beaming debuting director.
The jury was presided by Alfonso Cuaron. This edition of the fest was marked by plenty of prizes going to Latin American cinema and also to debut directors. Cuaron said it’s the first time a Latin American film wins the Golden Lion.
Variety critic Guy Lodge called “From Afar” a “smart, unsensationalized examination of the slow-blossoming relationship between a middle-aged loner and a young street tough.”
Chilean veteran Alfred Castro (“No,” “The »
- Nick Vivarelli
In what it feels like the scene with the most personal dialog during the first half of Isaac Ezban's The Incident (El Incidente), the agonizing character of Amores Perros' Humberto Busto shares his thoughts about life in general. "Life is a long highway and what we pass along never comes back", he says to his younger brother while also regretting the fact that he never enjoyed the different stages of his own life and always wanted to be somewhere else. It's easy to connect with this kind of thought as life works in mysterious ways and sometimes you can recognize and appreciate a certain moment until it's long gone. In The Incident, however, things work in an even weirder way and what the characters pass...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Jack Zagha’s “A Useless Puddle,” Jonathan Ostos Yaber’s “The Morphable Man” and Jorge Michel Grau’s “Yamaha 300” figure among feature projects chosen to form part of Focus on Mexico. The co-production forum has been launched by London’s Raindance Film Festival in partnership with Mexico’s Guadalajara Intl. Film Fest and Variety.
Running Sept. 30-Oct.1, Focus on Mexico aims to strengthen networking between the British and Mexican film industries, and develop financial, business and investment opportunities to co-produce films among both countries.
Jack Zagha, whose dark comedy “Goodbye Cruel World” won best narrative feature at 2010 Austin Film Fest and was acquired by HBO in the U.S., will present at the forum “A Useless Puddle,” a social drama on a teacher in crisis, »
- Emiliano De Pablos
World premiere of Us spy thriller to open independent film festival.
Raindance Film Festival (Sept 23 - Oct 4) has unveiled the programme for its 23rd edition, with 90 features and nearly 200 short from 48 countries set to screen at London’s Vue Piccadilly.
Raindance’s international programme this year includes the world premiere of Rickie Lee Jones: The Other Side of Desire, a portrait of the poet-musician and rock star; the UK premiere of Mexican film Alice in Marialand, starring new Bond girl Stephanie Sigman; and new titles from upcoming British filmmaking talent.
Films dealing with the digital age feature prominently throughout the programme, with highlights including Alex Winter’s Deep Web, narrated by Keanu Reeves; Digital Dissisents, a documentary looking at the “warriors of the digital age” featuring »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
London — London’s Raindance Film Festival, which runs Sept. 23-Oct. 4, will include a master class by Mexican screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga, who was Oscar nominated for “Babel.” The festival will open with the world premiere of Kai Barry’s spy thriller “Newcomer.”
Mexico-born Arriaga, whose credits include “Amores Perros” and “21 Grams,” will discuss his craft during two sessions on Oct. 3 and 4. The master class ties in with the festival’s Co-Production Forum, which focuses this year on Mexico.
“Newcomer” stars James Floyd, who won best newcomer at the 2013 British Independent Film Awards, and Anthony Lapaglia, who won a Golden Globe for his role as FBI agent Jack Malone in “Without a Trace.”
The movie follows rookie spy Alex, who becomes the subject of an »
- Leo Barraclough
Last week saw the arrival of the first trailer for the revenge/survival thriller “The Revenant,” the new film from recent Oscar-winning director Alejandro González Iñárritu. From the looks of the trailer, and the reports that the film was shot chronologically on location in the frozen north of Canada, Iñárritu ought to clear space for another batch of awards on his mantel (once that ending is shot). To go along with the first trailer is this new Cinemasters supercut tribute to the director’s limited, but nonetheless impressive, oeuvre. Featuring scenes from Iñárritu’s debut, “Amores Perros,” the intersecting-lives-dramas “21 Grams" and “Babel” (which together make up “The Death Trilogy”), the Javier Bardem vehicle “Biutiful,” and his most stirring and complex film yet, “Birdman: or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance),” the short video highlights the director's dazzling visuals and his recurring interest in love, family, and »
- Gary Garrison
How does one follow up the award winning “Birdman?” You set out to make a grim revenge western about a fur trapper, of course. While Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “The Revenant” has gone over schedule–by at least three months, according to Tom Hardy–we can spend the time waiting for that movie reexamining the Oscar-winning director’s filmography thanks to a video tribute by Miguel Branco. To date, Iñárritu has the least amount of feature-length films to his name than the rest of the Three Amigos–five to Alfonso Cuaron’s seven and Guillermo del Toro’s soon-to-be nine – but he’s also the only one that has stayed firmly in the arthouse realm when both Cuaron and del Toro have gone Hollywood. Iñárritu made his feature-length debut with "Amores perros" in 2000, a powerful and confident film that tracks three distinct stories in Mexico City all linked to a car crash. »
- Cain Rodriguez
Inarritu will be honored with the Vanguard Leadership Award for the originality and independent spirit of his films.
Inarritu’s films include “Amores Perros” (2000), “21 Grams” (2003), “Babel” (2006), “Biutiful” (2010) and “Birdman,” which won him three Oscars for best picture, director and original screenplay. He has produced three films that appeared at the Sundance Film Festival: “Nine Lives” (2005), “Mother and Child” (2010) and “Rudo y Cursi” (2009).
Inarritu will be the fourth recipient of the Vanguard Leadership Award, joining philanthropist and former institute trustee George Gund, journalist and film critic Roger Ebert, and actress and arts advocate Glenn Close.
- Dave McNary
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