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San Sebastian Fest true to latin amercian countries

The San Sebastian International Film Festival similarly proposes a yearly rendez vous with the best movies from Latin American countries in its HORIZONTES Selection.

This year, twelve films, some of which are being released for the first time ever and others backed by international recognition, will compete for the Horizontes Award, carrying €18,000 by way of a recompense to the director while serving as an incentive to distribution.


ALMA MATER, Alvaro Buela, Uruguay-Canada
A 34 year-old virgin who works as a supermarket cashier thinks she’s going to be the mother of the new Messiah. Melodrama and farce join hands in this unclassifiable movie underlining the religious confusion still reigning in certain countries. One of the finalists of Films in Progress 6.

1942. Two men’s lives cross in arid north-eastern Brazil: Johann, a German fleeing the war in Europe, and Ranulpho, a Brazilian trying to escape poverty. A truck full of aspirins and a movie projector are the instruments permitting them to live his particular adventure. This film was presented in its incomplete version at Films in Progress 6, and subsequently in Un certain regard at the last Cannes Festival.

COMO PASAN LAS HORAS, Inés de Oliveira Cézar, Argentina
A visual poem about four characters on a winter’s day. Father and son go to the beach to watch the fishermen; the mother and grandmother take a stroll and chat. The hours pass peacefully, pleasantly and slowly, until a tragic event changes everything. Minimalist cinema, fascinating in its simplicity.

LA DEMOLICIÓN, Marcelo Mangone, Argentina
About to start demolishing an abandoned factory, a squad of workmen come across a former employee who has never left his job. Solidarity and the need to defend the things that matter serve as the basis for this film never losing sight of humour or absurdity. Starring Enrique Liporace, Jorge Paccini and Gastón Pauls. Presented in Films in Progress 7.

GEMINIS, Albertina Carri, Argentina - France
Third feature film by the director of Los Rubios in which she once again turns her eyes to a well-off family and the hypocritical atmosphere of their relations. Social criticism of a parasitic class told from a personal point of view. Selected for the Director’s Fortnight at the last Cannes Festival.

Three women from the same Hispanic family living in the USA, the grandmother, mother and daughter, spend a summer in search of love. All three take different roads to find what they want, doing so where least they would imagine. Tales of endearing women told by a woman. Presented at the Sundance Festival and winner of a prize at those of Moscow and Paris.

EL INMORTAL, Mercedes Moncada, Nicaragua, Mexico-Spain
Following La pasión de María Elena, this Mexican documentary-maker headed for Nicaragua to film the tale of a family divided by the civil war in the early 80s. One of a pair of twins was recruited by the Sandinistas along with his sister, while the other went to the Contras. Seen from the present time, all three now reflect on what that did to their lives.

MONOBLOC, Luis Ortega, Argentina-Holland
Perla has just been sacked. She encloses herself in the house she shares with her daughter Nena, a limping teenager. La Madrina lives in the next flat. The three women help each other, accompanying each other without ever leaving the enclosed, claustrophobic space of the flat. Three fine actresses: Graciela Borges, Rita Cortese and Evangelina Salazar. One of the finalists of Films in Progress 7.

Carmelo is a down-and-out Mexican who earns his life in San Francisco singing rancheras and boleros. This documentary follows him in his work and in his obligatory return to Mexico, where he wonders if he should stay or whether he should try to illegally cross the border back into the USA. Screened at the last Sundance Festival.

LA SAGRADA FAMILIA, Sebastián Campos, Chile
Several confrontations take place between the members of a well-off family during their Easter holidays at the seaside. Father and son, both architects, constantly vie against one another. The arrival of the son’s daughter, with her sensuality and provocative behaviour, unleashes a series of passions concealed within the family. Discovered in Films in Progress 6.

SANGRE, Amat Escalante, Mexico
An example of new Mexican cinema, the most well-known exponents of which are the movies Japón and Batalla en el cielo, both by Carlos Reygadas. The story of two beings with no history, a couple that lives devoid of passion, told in long shots with fertile silences. One of the works shortlisted for Films in Progress 7, and subsequently for Un certain regard at the last Cannes Festival, where it won the Fipresci Award.

TORO NEGRO, Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio, Carlos Armella, Mexico
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Guillermo del Toro and Alfonso Cuarón are the godfathers of this documentary about a young Mayan bullfighter, Fernando Pacheco “El Negro”, endearing when sober and violent when drunk, as we see from the way he behaves with his wife, somewhat older than him. Impeccable portrait of a pathetic yet fascinating character.


Opening film – Horizontes Latinos
RONDA NOCTURNA, Edgardo Cozarinsky, Argentina - France
Phantasmal chronicle of a “city that never sleeps”, a nightmare Buenos Aires serving as the setting for Victor, an adolescent whom on All Saint’s Day will learn that love can draw you beyond life. Between the almost-documentary reality of the urban night and the poetical fantasies of death, Cozarinsky guides Victor on his descent into the depths of the most irrational fear: love’s murderous desire. Selected for Films in Progress 6 before setting off to Rotterdam Festival and garnering an award at Paris.

Closing film – Horizontes Latinos
LOS OLVIDADOS, Luis Buñuel, Mexico, 1950
Award for Best Director at Cannes Festival in 1950, this movie marked Luis Buñuel’s international discovery. However, the film was received with effrontery in Mexico for showing the miserable side of a big city. Masterpiece written in collaboration with Max Aub and other unaccredited Spanish Republicans. “The revolutionary value of Los olvidados, a movie about poor people, is that it doesn’t take poverty as its main theme, but uses it as a situation propitious to the exploration of man”, in the words of Emilio García Riera, another exile. Los olvidados once again shines with its original light in a copy restored by the UNAM Film Archive. The CICAE, which will celebrate 50 years of international service to arthouse cinema at San Sebastian, is associated to this screening.

ARDIENTE PACIENCIA, Antonio Skármeta, Chile-Germany-Portugal, 1983
In 1983, Antonio Skármeta wrote a screenplay similarly directed by him with the title of Ardiente paciencia: a simple, beautiful film considered by many as superior to that made eleven years later by Michael Radford, Il Postino, 1994. A young postman and aspiring poet turns to his neighbour, Pablo Neruda, for help in the writing of verses to woo the girl of his dreams. The tales of both characters intermingle with the ups and downs of the Chilean political process leading Allende to the position of President, and Neruda to the Chilean embassy in Paris.


20 CENTÍMETROS, Ramón Salazar, (Spain - France)
AMOR IDIOTA (Idiot Love), Ventura Pons, (Spain - Andorra)
EL CALENTITO, Chus Gutiérrez, (Spain)
LA CASA DE MI ABUELA (My Grandmother’s house), Adán Aliaga, Spain) PREMIERE
EL CIELO GIRA (The Sky Turns), Mercedes Álvarez, (Spain)
CRIMEN FERPECTO, Álex de la Iglesia, (Spain - Italy)
FRÁGIL, Juanma Bajo Ulloa, (Spain)
HABANA BLUES, Benito Zambrano, (Spain - Cuba - France)
INTERIOR (NOCHE), Miguel Ángel Cárcano, (Spain)
EL LOBO, Miguel Courtois, (Spain)
EL MAQUINISTA (The Machinist), Brad Anderson, (Spain)
MORIR EN SAN HILARIO, Laura Mañá, (Spain)
EL PENALTI MÁS LARGO DEL MUNDO (The Longest Penalty Shot in the World), Roberto Santiago, (Spain)
REINAS, Manuel Gómez Pereira, (Spain - Italy)
SEMEN, UNA HISTORIA DE AMOR, Daniela Fejerman, Inés París, (Spain - UK)
TAPAS, Juan Cruz, José Corbacho, (Spain - Argentina - Mexico)

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