Today the Blood Window program at Ventana Sur kicks off in Buenos Aires, Argentina. While we wish we could have been there again this year to support this burgeoning genre market program and support our friends presenting projects or screening films we will do what we can from all the way up here to bring focus on the program and the participants.
Blood Window is a successful co-pro market. Last month alone we saw two films that screened during the market as works in progress last year. Both Diablo Rojo PTY and Matar al Dragon had their world premieres at Morbido last month. Matar al Dragon was a direct benificiary from the market as it won funding towards post production. This year we see that a project pitched last year, Sangre Vurdalak (Vurdalak Blood), will have a market screening this Wednesday.
As a matter of clarification, this is how all the projects look on paper. Being there, seeing and hearing the pitches, talking to the filmmakers during the market puts everything in a different light. So this is a rather clinical survey as opposed to our usual in-house emotional responses to pitches when they happen. Round one of the pitch sessions begin this Wednesday with round two following on Thursday.
Equal opportunity in the film industry is of great interest to us, just as we support our own sister Anarchists here in Canada and the U.S. what does the future look like for women filmmakers in the Iberoamerican region? Of the fifteen projects in the Blood Window LAB eight films would be directed or produced by women. Of the five projects featured in the Spotlight on International Projects one project would be produced by a woman. We will first look at the Lab.
Participating in the Lab there will be the noir thriller Aracne, winner of the Blood Window Award at SANFIC and led by filmmaker Florenica Dupont and her producer Pilar Diaz. We wrote about their project when our familia de Morbido stepped in to help with this project. Colombian director and producer Wanda Berrio brings her second feature film a sci-fi dramm called Fase Rem (Rem Phase) which promises to make us question reality. Mexican filmmaker Michelle Garza Cervera will present her film Heusera, a story of a threatened pregnancy. My friend from Chile, Paulette Lecaros, will present her film Ancestra with her producer Yeniffer Fascini. From the synopsis it sounds like her take on inherent evil. Rounding off the woman director charge is Brazilian Sabrina Tazatti Greve and her film O Porao Da Rua Do Grito, or The Basement em Ingles. Together with producer Georgia Costa Araujo de Macedo this suspense horror features a pair of siblings who live on Scream Street. That alone…
On the production side, women making it happen starts with Laura Pino and her work with Cristobel (Axel) Jorodowsky and his project called El Arca Azul (The Blue Ark). It will heavily feature psychomagic. He is a Jordowsky after all. From Brazil Mayra Alarcon is working with director Rodrigo Aragao on a project called Contos De Lama (Mud Tales). This film on paper looks to cross teens in peril with local creature feature and will be presented at a co-pro market for the first time at Blood Window. And rounding off the list of awesome ladies making genre movies, from Argentina Roxana Ramos is working with director Federico Finkielstein on La Estancia (Host of Evil), another suspense horror about a threatened pregnancy.
Of all of these projects presented at Blood Window most of them have modest budget goals with only three of them daring to break the one million dollar mark.
My friend Nicco Onetti is backing a sequel to his horror flick Los Olvidados, with a second chapter called Inferno (What the Waters Left Behind: Inferno). What I learned last year when I was at Blood Window was that he had already hired Persagio director Mattias Salinas to direct this sequel. Also from Argentina is Martin Basterretche’s El Ultimo Zombi (The Last Zombie) which will go to shoot in February next year. There is also Fercks Castellani’s Lo Inevitable (Inevitable) which brings about the end times to a family taking refuge in an old country house.
From Spain, there are two projects to keep an eye out for. There will be Disforia (Dysphoria), a horror thriller from Imanal Ortiz Lopez, another entry in to the trapped in a remote location trope. Hoping to add some life in to the trapped in a basement trope is Daniel M. Caneria’s Dark Comedy Thriller, Deviant.
There is a really ambitious sci-fi fantasy flick from Peru being presented at the market. El Eterno Interior (The Within) from Gianpiero Varda Gonzales. The story is about a retired shaman who will try to stop a sorcerer from entering another dimension using magic crystals, endangering the planet they’re on. We need more fantasy flicks
Finally from Uruguay is a title I wish to find out more about, Bacaray. In the near future the eating of meat is banned. If you eat meat you are mercilessly attacked by a creature called The Bacaray. A group of friends decided to eat meat despite this warning. Chaos ensues. This sounds like wonderful stuff.
Projects in the Spotlight on International Projects get a bit more ambitious, read expensive. There are two series in the mix this year, both from Belgium. There is the cyber crime drama Unite 42 (Unit 42) that is just airing its second season now. The production is looking to bring on an Argentenian partner for production and content. Another series that is sure to catch the eyes and ears of genre fans around the World should it find production partners is Unseen. The concept is pretty cool. Over twenty days people become invisible. ‘Their invisibility becomes a handicap or a power, a tool of protection, voyeurism, vengeance or domination… To keep the epidemic under control, the medical authorities scheme a trap that closes down on all the unseen. I’m just going to say it, this sounds like something that the folks at Shudder need to have a look at. They’re probably already are.
Unsure how a project from Chile doesn’t get lobbed in with the other Iberoamerican projects but Sitges’ inclusion of Cristian Jimenez’s Evasion (Escape) in their Pitchbox program this year probably has something to do with its placement in the Spotlight program. There will be some international crossover appeal as the story centers around an American actor who goes to Chile to star in a film and when he goes to meet the real life person his character lines between the past and the future begin to blur.
And capping off the program there are two more projects from Europe. From Norway there is Reinert Kiil’s Apha X. His new movie is at the scripting stage right now and is the story of a team of soldiers who explore a crash site of an unknown vessel on the border of Norway and Russia. It quickly turns into a supernatural film.
Then there is a timey-wimey film from Austria called Recurse that I am very interested in. To be directed by Lucas Vossoughi and Artur Golczewski, their story centers around a physicist who invents time travel and uses it to save her marriage by killing her other self and taking her place. Of course things do not go as planned in this sci-fi thriller.
So there you have it, a lengthy survey of all the projects being pitched to the Blood Window audience this Wednesday and Thursday. We wish good luck to all who are participating.
We do hope that we will be able to report on some of the market screenings happening this week as well. Stay tuned.