Cannes Film Market: Pix-in-Post Showcase Sanfic in Cannes
Giovani Borba’s ‘Empty House’, Mar Pescio’s ‘That Weekend’ and Martin Desalvo’s ‘El Ciego, Border With Death’ will feature in a remarkable Sanfic Goes to Cannes showcase at the July Film Market.
Two other films, both psychological dramas, bring a big breath of fresh air to the selection: “La vie qui reste” by Flavio Botelho, tragic but ultimately celebrating life; and “Patient(ly),” a scathing critique of the Chilean healthcare system.
A springboard for new talent, Sanfic Goes to Cannes is the first time that Sanfic has produced the Goes to Cannes film component of the Market in rough editing. This marks just the latest expansion initiative for Sanfic, Santiago de Chile’s international airport. Film festival. Framing five titles which were all screened at Sanfic Industria’s Work in Progress in March, the Cannes line-up is also the result of a bold and counter-intuitive move by Sanfic Industria.
While other festivals have pushed back to later in 2021, the industrial arm of Sanfic has stepped into the breach, having postponed its August 2020 edition, launching an online event in March 2021.
The selection enjoyed unprecedented access to some of the best first feature art footage to come to market in Latin America, bidding for a great selection of festivals in the second half of 2021.
“Latin American film production is still proliferating, with singular and diverse visions, and it has held up well despite the pandemic and the mismanagement of Latin American political institutions,” said Storyboard Media producer Gabriela Sandoval (“Jailbreak Pact “), Sanfic Head of Industry.
She added: “For example, the five titles, all in the works, from Sanfic Goes to Cannes which immerse us in amazing and moving worlds and stories. These are titles that are going to generate a lot of heat in the near future.
Three of the five Sanfic Goes to Cannes titles – by Borba, Pescio and Botelho – are feature debuts, directed by confident young authors. The section is also rich in genre auteur art films.
“That Weekend” takes place in the town of Posadas, just across the Rio Paraná from Paraguay, a modern western frontier whose inhabitants mix Guarani, Spaniards and Portuguese.
Sometimes a horror film, “El Ciego” also takes place in Misiones, in the Far North of Argentina, when Juana, a teenager, one day stumbles upon “El Ciego”, a dark forbidden thicket whose superstition wants it to reveal dark secrets. This prompts Juana to become obsessed with her own family’s dark secret: how did her mother die?
Set in the vast Pampas of Brazil, near the border with Uruguay, “Empty House” features a taciturn former rancher, now out of work, whose vast ranching pastures are replaced by the production of high soybeans. -tech of large companies.
But “That Weekend” and “Empty House” differ in some ways from classic mid-century westerns. These depicted, with cultural biases of a bygone era, the alleged carving of civilization in the wilderness.
Sanfic Goes to Cannes instead delivers a devastating diagnosis of the destruction of traditional worlds, and of the fragility not only of the poor but also of the Latin American middle classes – seen in “The Life That’s Left” and “Patient(ly)” – when confronted by pullout change. Commodities in the region once fueled optimism about the outlook now seem like a distant dream.
A brief breakdown of Sanfic Goes to Cannes titles:
“El Ciego, border with death” (“El Ciego, Frontera con la Muerte”, Martín Desalvo, Argentina)
The latest in Argentine author Desalvo’s consolidation, like his “Darkness by Day,” “El Ciego” blends suspenseful drama, horror beats, and character study. Mid-teen Juana tends to a coal pit with her drunken, moody father Rubén, and investigates with growing obsession the mysterious death of her mother as a child. But rather than a thriller, which pushes the narrative forward, “the emotional core of the film is the search for a sense of self-identity that occurs in adolescence,” says Desalvo. Filming in Misiones, he added, gave another “sense that the only possible future is either a life of sacrifice at work or emigration to a big city where the future is not easy either. “.
“Empty House” (“Casa Vazia”, Giovani Borba, Brazil)
Raúl returns from a night of rustling cattle on the endless Pampas of Brazil to his home, a dainty cabin near a dirt road, to find his wife and children are gone. Raul tries to cling to the vestige of an ancient bovine world that offers little future. Revisionist Western with grand visual and sonic ambitions, “Empty House” captures Raul’s sense of near-mythical status in the bygone age of cattle, far removed from the righteous Christian consumerism of a new Brazil, embodied by his brother-in-law. “The tension and violence from the West can reflect the times we live in, especially in a Latin American context,” Borba said. Variety. Produced by Tatiana Sager at Panda Filmes, and almost certainly linked to a major festival.
“The Life That Remains” (“La Vida Que Resta”, Flavio Botelho, Brazil) Produced by Brazilian powerhouse Gullane, which is currently preparing the Netflix series “Senna”, Flavio Botelho’s first film traces the desperate but divergent reactions of two parents to the suicide of his son Felipe following a depression. Francisca retreats into a shell, obsessed with punishing the person responsible for Felipe’s death. Carlos moves into Felipe’s apartment, loses weight, befriends Felipe’s friends as if he can bring his son back impersonating. The question is whether either can find meaning in life and self-worth after such a deadly tragedy. Inspired by the director’s own experience, and inevitably moving.
“Patient)”, (“Pa(de)ciente”, Constanza Fernández, Chile)
Roberto Dover’s latest film is Niña Niño Films (“Plants,” “The Prince”), a budding force on the Chilean film production scene and a scathing critique of Chile’s underfunded healthcare system. On a personal level, however, it is the emotional odyssey of a doctor from domestic patriarch and professional authority on bioethics to a more fragile being who, afflicted with the rare Guillain-Barré syndrome, achieves what he reproves in a first scene of the film: Empathy. Fernández’s second feature, after “Map for Love”, winner of the 2012 Sanfic Award for Best Director.
“This week-end” (“Ese Fin de Semana,” Mara Pescio, Argentina, Brazil) Produced by Maravillacine (“Marilyn”) and Murillo Cine (“The Snatch Thief”), “That Weekend” sent his mother Julia back to her multi-ethnic apartment building in Posadas to sign a document authorizing his daughter Clara to leave Argentina with her father. Julia also sets out to retrieve a stash of cash she hid in her apartment. But Clara, 17, has her own ideas for her future and needs the money to realize them. A conflicted – and neo-Western, says Pescio – mother-daughter fictional drama, but often with an almost documentary edge, depicting a setting rarely visited. “I wanted to dig into the links between the characters who are conditioned by the economic context,” she adds.