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Ventana Sur celebrates record attendance and offers prizes amid concerns about public funding for the arts

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Source: Ventana Sur


The 15th edition of Ventana Sur wrapped over the weekend with record attendance of more than 3,500 as prizes were handed out and deals concluded. However there was concern over the future of market co-host INCAA following inflammatory comments about public arts funding by incoming Argentinian president Javier Milei.

The president-elect, a fan of firebrand second term US presidential hopeful Donald Trump and ousted Brazilian premier Jair Bolsonaro, takes office next week (December 10) and has promised to undo decades of stagnation.

President-elect alarms industry

Milei has said he wants to reduce the state and public funding in the South American country. His threats on the campaign trail to dismantle Argentina’s public film and TV body INCAA, which hosts Ventana Sur with Cannes’s Marche du Film, and close down the national public broadcaster did not go down well once the market got underway.

Cannes Film Festival delegate general Thierry Fremaux argued during his annual masterclass for the need to protect INCAA.

However industry sources took heart from the appointment last week of stage and music producer Leonardo Cifelli as national culture minister, under-secretary of heritage Liliana Barela, National Theater director Gonzalo Demaria, and Kirchner Cultural Center director Valeria Ambrosio – all of whom hail from prestigious cultural backgrounds, allaying fears to some degree.

Latido, Sideral deals

Meanwhile business between Europe and Latin America got done in Buenos Aires. In early deals Latido Films acquired Alejandro Agresti’s What We Wanted To Be (Lo Que Quisimos Ser), a production of regular partners Fernando Sokolowicz at Aleph Media and Gaston Duprat.

Sideral, the new production, distribution and sales branch of Spain’s Elamedia Estudios, boarded Marco Caltieri’s feature debut and Blood Window selection Capital Variable.

And Colombian sales and distribution company Doc:Co kicked off its activities by taking international rights to Patricia Correa’s feature documentary debut Otra Piel, co-produced by Colombia’s Romeo, 235 Digital, and Sonata Films alongside Chile’s Gabriela Sandoval’s Cine Matriz from Chile.

Myriad of awards

Ventana Sur also handed out its numerous annual awards offering development and post-production funds, and attendance at partner events such as Mifa-Annecy, Quirino, Pixelatl, or Sitges and Bifan, underlining Ventana Sur’s significance as an international stepping stone for Latin American content and fresh talent.

The array of sponsored prizes – more than 60 this year – additionally served as reminder of the market’s value to Latin American cinema.

Argentinian Jose Maria Cicala took four awards at Blood Window Screenings section with horror film Charming (Encantador) claiming prizes from SofiaFilms, chemistry, Lahaye Media, and Hypnotic VFX.

Cicala’s fourth feature is produced by the filmmaker’s Shock House Films, whose previous film Lennons launched in October, and follows a genial young man who leads a simple life caring for his mother, working at the video store and town clinic, and collecting dolls. One by one women start to disappear.

Mexican filmmaker Rigoberto Perezcano’s fourth feature, the romantic social drama Lovers Fare Goodbye took the Cine+Plus Award in Premier Corte’s Copia Final, another of the key WIPs showcases at the Buenos Aires market.

The film depicts Elida, a young woman living in the valley of Oaxaca who is forced into an arranged marriage with an older man who has no intention of honouring tradition. Cristina Velasco Lozano produces for Mexico’s Paloma Negra Films. Perezcano won the best film award at the Morelia International Film Festival for his previous film Carmin Tropical.

A collaboration between Costa Rica’s Substance, and Spain’s PlayLab.Memories of a Burning Body won the WIP section at Primer Corte. The Awakening Of The Ants is Antonella Sudassassi’s second feature film. Her previous award-winning The Carmin Tropical

won the WIP section of Primer Corte. The film is a lyrical portrait of Ana (68), Patricia (69), and Mayela (71) who finally get to enjoy their sexuality, having never discussed the matter wearlier in life with their mothers, sisters, and daughters.

The first call projects were announced for Ibermedia Next, a new initiative under the umbrella of pan-regional funding organisation Ibermedia devoted to VR audiovisual content with an emphasis on open source tools and disruptive technologies.

Out of 14 co-production beneficiaries, 10 come from Spanish producers in co-production with partners from Mexico (four), Chile (three), and one from each of Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador.Among the projects are El Origen de la Experiencia,

produced by Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna’s outfit La Corriente del Golfo with Spain’s Cornelius Films. Mexican actors will also voice characters in the VR take on Mexican mysticism.Sofia

, an animation-live-action hybrid title to be directed by Isabel Coixet, is a co-production between Spain’s Atlantika Films, Argentina’s Rudo Company, and Peru’s Ambiro Producciones.Titan-Tofu is an adventure comedy series produced by Spain’s Uniko -the Basque producers of adult animation GKids acquisition Unicorn Wars

– in co-production with Mattegraphics from Ecuador.The Proyecta Prizes went to Marcel Beltran’s documentary Moa (Cub-Bra-DR) which won 2022 Locarno Open Doors, and Camila Zavala Chocano’s Tell Me How Much You Love Me (Per), a coming-of-age tale about a nine-year who tries to heal his manic-depressive mother. Bernard Lessa’s The Cuban Doctor

took the Paradiso award, a LGTBI drama following a doctor who is asked to leave Bolsonaro’s Brazil and return to Cuba.Animation! main awards went to features If I Die and Seed. Produced by Brazil’s Apto122, and directed and produced by Spanish Esther Vital, If I Die

is a stop-motion documentary project revolving around the life of Ines Etienne, the only survivor and witness of the House of Death, a clandestine detention and centre of and torture during the Brazilian dictatorship (1964-1985).Family title Seed

follows a small sprout that germinates unexpectedly and becomes obsessed with discovering what type of plant he is. Andres Sehinkman and Federico Carlini are directing for Argentina’s Planta Alta.

2023 Ventana Sur awards winnersPrimer Corte

Cine + Plus AwardLovers Fare Goodbye

(Mex), dir. Rigoberto Perezcano
Sofia Films Award

Lovers Fare Goodbye
NMF / Color Front AwardSeeds

(Col-Sp), dir. Eliana Nino
La Mayor CinemaThe drownings

(Ec-Uru),dir. Juan Sebastian Jacome, Victor Mares
Trieste Film Festival

Lovers Fare Goodbye

Lovers Fare Goodbye
VISOM DigitalThe Cuban Doctor
(Bra), dir. Bernard Lessa

Lovers Fare Goodbye
Stone MilkGloria

(Bra), dir. Felipe Sholl
WIP Projecto Paradiso

The Cuban Doctor
Le Film Francias / Cannes Market News

The Drownings

Copia Final
Cine + Plus AwardMemories Of A Burning Body

(CR-Sp), dir. Antonella Sudasassi FurnissTrieste Film Festiva

Memories Of A Burning Body
Le Film Francias / Cannes Market News

Memories Of A Burning Body
IFFM / Iberoamerican Film Festival Of Miami

Memories Of A Burning Body
Special mentionTiguer

(DR), dir. Jose Maria Cabral

Netflix AwardImpermanentes



WEMW (When East Meets West)Dime cuanto me quieres

(Per), dir. Camila Zavala Chocano

(CR) Dir. Marcel Beltran

Blood Window screenings
La Meyor CineDo not enter

(Par), dir. Hugo Cardozo
Sofia Films Charming

(Arg), dir. Jose Maria Cicala

La Haye Media

Fant. Latina / Woman in FanThe woman who dreamt underwater

(Mex), dir. Ale Garcia, Carla SierraBlood Window Lab

Sitges – International Fantastic Film Festival of CataloniaSpittle

(Arg), dir. Martin Desalvo
Bifan/NAFF AwardDon’t Follow Me

(Mex), dir. Ximena Garcia Lecuona
Terror Molins Film Festival AwardThe Woman Who Dreamt Underwater
(Mex)At The End Of The Night


Animation!MIFA/Annecy Award

FeatureIf I Die
(Bra-Sp) Dir. Esther Vital. Prod. Apto122Seed

(Arg), dirs. Andres Sehinkman, Federico Carlini. Prod. Planta Alta

TV seriesBolla
(Mex) Dir. Ariadna Galaz, Jorge Peralta. Prod. CalladitosKnightmares

(Mex), dir. Juan Sotelo is the producer. Demente Studio
Special mention – MIFA AnnecyTales of Mungara
, (Bra), dirs. Nara Aragao, Renata Roberta Azevedo, prod. Carnaval FilmesLucila

(Chil), dir. Bernardita Ojeda is the producer. Maria Wood Producciones / Pajaro

Punto Genero
Gender – DAC AwardMama Lulu

APIMA Gender AwardCoracoes solitarios


Doc Sur
APCLAI / Trieste FestivalLos Mariachis Perdidos

APIMA DocCoracoes Solitarios


Best Art AwardHollow Flowers

Best Design AwardTempus Vitae

  • (Arg).

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