Luis López Carrasco’s “The Year of Discovery” Wins Top Prize at Mar del Plata International Film Festival

Luis López Carrasco is celebrating his big Discovery

The 39-year-old Spanish filmmaker took home the Best International Film prize for his documentary The Year of the Discovery (El año del descubrimiento) on Sunday at Argentina’s Mar del Plata International Film Festival, the only Latin American film fest granted a Category A status by producers association FIAPF, placing it in the same league as the Cannes Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, San Sebastian Film Festival and Locarno Film Festival, among others.

Luis López Carrasco

Due to the restraints imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival hosted an online edition and offered free access to all Argentine residents.

 

Carrasco’s sophomore feature follows his debut film El Futuro, which premiered at Locarno and collected numerous awards on the festival circuit.

The Year of the Discovery portrays the flipside of 1992 Spain, which celebrated hosting the 1992 Barcelona Games and the World Expo in Seville while in Murcia, south-east Spain, enraged workers from the naval, mining and chemical sectors where companies were shut down, battled alongside students against the police, culminating with the launch of Molotov cocktails that set fire to the regional government’s Parliament.

In a video call from Spain, a grateful López Carrasco dedicated the award to his parents and brother “for being the people who most taught me how to listen.”

Colombian Camilo Restrepo’s Los Conductos won the best film prize in the festival’s Latin American competition. Winner of last year’s Mar del Plata Work in Progress competition, Los Conductos marks an attempt to explore Colombia’s civil conflicts with a style outside the canons of social realism as it follows a man in his attempts to flee from a sect and the trauma that still haunts him.

Maria Alvarez’s The Lost Time (El Tiempo Perdido) trounced a strong lineup in the Argentine competition, which included notable titles like Esquirlas, The History of the Occult and Las Ranas, to nab the best Argentine film prize.

In The Lost Time, a group of now aged friends find new and personal meaning in Marcel Proust’s seven-volume novel In Search of Lost Time at each of the 18 years they have gathered at a Buenos Aires bar to discuss it.

“In this online edition, more than 200,000 people saw the films we have programmed, and on YouTube, more than 180,000 people followed our events, so I congratulate the public who have known how to adapt to our circumstances,” said festival president Fernando Juan Lima at the online closing ceremony. “We miss the City of Mar del Plata and its movie theaters, but we are going to return,” he declared.

“We celebrate [the festival’s] continuity even with the challenges that the pandemic has imposed on us,” concurred festival artistic director Cecilia Barrionuevo. The festival paid homage to filmmaker-politician Fernando ‘Pino’ Solanas, Argentine actress-writer-director Maria Luisa Bemberg and, naturally, Argentina’s greatest hero, soccer star Diego Maradona, who died Nov. 25 from heart failure.

Augusto Costa, minister of production, science, and technological innovation, also announced that Mar del Plata would be the site of the fifth regional headquarters of Argentine film school, Enerc.

“From the government and from the ministry, we reaffirm our absolute commitment to the festival and to the audiovisual industry of the province,” said Costa.

2020 MAR DEL PLATA ASTOR PIAZZOLLA PRIZES

OFFICIAL INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION

BEST FILM
“The Year of the Discovery,” (Luis López Carrasco, Spain, Switzerland)

BEST DIRECTOR
Matías Piñeiro, (“Isabella,” Argentina)

BEST PERFORMANCE
María Villar, (“Isabella,” Argentina)

BEST SCREENPLAY

Nicolás Prividera, (“A Farewell to Memory,” Argentina)

SPECIAL JURY
“Moving On,” (Yoon Dan-bi, Korea)

LATIN AMERICAN COMPETITION

BEST FILM
“Los Conductos,” (Camilo Restrepo, Colombia, Brazil, France)

SPECIAL MENTION
“Mascarados,” (Marcela Borela and Henrique Borela, Brazil)

SPECIAL MENTION
“Fauna,” (Nicolás Pereda, Mexico)

BEST SHORT
“Correspondence,” (Dominga Sotomayor and Carla Simón, Chile)

ARGENTINE COMPETITION

BEST FILM
“The Lost Time,” (María Álvarez, Argentina)

SPECIAL MENTION
“Las Ranas,” (Edgardo Castro, Argentina)

BEST SHORT
“Homage to the Work of Philip Henry Gosse,” (Pablo Martín Weber)

BEST DIRECTOR
“Esquirlas,” (Natalia Garayalde, Argentina)

ALTERNATE STATES

BEST FILM
“My Dear Spies,” (Vladimir Léon, France)

SPECIAL MENTION
“Heliconia,” (Paula Rodríguez Polanco, France, Colombia)

WORK IN PROGRESS

BEST PROJECT
“Morichales,” (Chris Gude, Colombia, U.S.)

BEST LATIN AMERICAN DEBUT FILM, YOUNG CRITICS PRIZE
“History of the Occult,” (Cristian Ponce, Argentina)

Guatemala Enters Jayro Bustamante’s “La Llorona” Into International Oscar Race

Jayro Bustamante could be bringing the horror to the Oscars…

The 43-year-old Guatemalan film director and screenwriter’s politically charged horror film La Llorona, which won the Venice Days sidebar at last year’s Venice Film Festival, is Guatemala’s selection to the 2021 International Oscar race.

Jayro Bustamante

It’s the second film by Bustamante to get his country’s Academy Awards submission, after his debut feature Ixcanul in 2015.

His latest film fuses the Latin American Llorona myth and modern reality in an exposé of the genocidal atrocities against the Mayan community in Guatemala.

The plot delves into magical realism as it follows Enrique (Julio Diaz), a retired general who oversaw the Mayan genocide and is haunted by his devastating crimes, and possibly a wrathful supernatural force that is targeting him and his family.

Rigoberta Menchú Tum, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and survivor of the atrocities, also appears in the film.

The film, which had its U.S. bow this year at the Sundance Film Festival ahead of its August 6 premiere on Shudder, currently has a 97% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Guatemala has yet to be nominated for the International Feature Film Oscar.

MUBI Acquires UK/Ireland Rights to Michel Franco’s Diego Boneta-Starrer “New Order”

Diego Boneta’s latest film is heading across the pond…

Arthouse outfit MUBI has acquired all UK and Ireland rights to Michel Franco’s Venice Film Festival drama New Order, starring the 29-year-old Mexican singer and actor.

Diego Boneta

The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival and won the Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize.

Conceived six years ago, Franco’s timely class conflict drama sees a high-society wedding interrupted by the arrival of unwelcome guests as protests rage on the streets.

Parasite distributor Neon recently picked up the North American rights for the Spanish-language film. It will next play at BFI London Film Festival and Chicago International Film Festival. The movie also played at San Sebastian Film Festival and made its North American debut at Toronto.

Written, produced and directed by Franco, the film features an ensemble cast comprised of Boneta, Naian González Norvind, Darío Yazbek BernalLisa OwenFernando CuautleMónica Del CarmenEligio MeléndezPatricia Bernal, Roberto Medina, Enrique Singer and Gustavo Sánchez Parra. 

Boneta served as an executive producer on the project.

Neon Acquires Rights to Michel Franco’s Diego Boneta-Starrer “New Order”

Diego Boneta is bringing some Order to the U.S.

Neon has acquired the North American rights to Mexican filmmaker Michel Franco’s latest feature New Order, starring the 29-year-old Mexican singer and actor.

Diego Boneta

The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival and won the Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize.

Conceived six years ago, Franco’s timely class conflict drama sees a high-society wedding interrupted by the arrival of unwelcome guests as protests rage on the streets..

Neon intends a theatrical release that’ll be announced at a later date. The film will next play at BFI London Film Festival and Chicago International Film Festival. It also played at San Sebastian Film Festival and made its North American debut at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Written, produced and directed by Franco, the film features an ensemble cast comprised of Boneta, Naian González Norvind, Darío Yazbek BernalLisa OwenFernando CuautleMónica Del CarmenEligio MeléndezPatricia Bernal, Roberto Medina, Enrique Singer and Gustavo Sánchez Parra. 

 

 

“Narcissus Off Duty,” the Documentary About Caetano Veloso’s Life as a Political Prisoner, to Premiere at the Venice Film Festival

Caetano Veloso’s life as a political prisoner will be headed to the big screen…

The documentary about the 78-year-old Brazilian composer, singer, guitarist, writer, and political activist, Narcissus Off Duty, will premiere on Monday, September 7 at the Venice Film Festival.

Caetano Veloso

In the film, directed by Renato Terra and Ricardo Calil, the multiple Grammy winner recounts his incarceration as a political prisoner in great detail and performs songs that sprung forth from this painful experience.

In 1968, during Brazil’s military dictatorship, Veloso – who the preceding year had been among the founders of the revolutionary Tropicalia artistic movement – was arrested on trumped up charges.

Veloso was taken from his Sao Paulo home to Rio de Janeiro, where he was placed in solitary confinement for one week and held behind bars for 54 days.

“I have a very clear memory of all things that happened that day, and in those months,” says Veloso of the time. “In fact I had written about it in my book Tropical Truth. There is a chapter in the book that tells the whole story. My manager, who is also my wife (Paula Lavigne), thought we should now do that on film. She invited a couple of directors who had done a wonderful work about a music festival…We were all going to do a complete documentary with many interviews and set locations, and things. But they started by interviewing me. When the interview – that we did in two sessions – ended, they decided that that would be enough.

The doc is co-produced by Veloso’s wife and manager Lavigne’s Uns Producoes with Walter Salles’ VideoFilmes. Globoplay has acquired rights for streaming in Brazil.

Alfonso Cuarón Signs on to Executive Produce Chaitanya Tamhane’s “The Disciple”

Alfonso Cuarón has signed on for a new project.

The 58-year-old Oscar-winning Mexican filmmaker has signed on as an executive producer on Chaitanya Tamhane’s The Disciple, which became the first Indian movie to land a Venice Film Festival competition slot since 2001’s Golden Lion winner Monsoon Wedding.

Alfonso Cuarón

The plot of The Disciple centers on Sharad Nerulkar, who has devoted his life to becoming an Indian classical music vocalist, diligently following the traditions and discipline of old masters, his guru, and his father. But as years go by, he starts to wonder whether it’s really possible to achieve the excellence he’s striving for.

Tamhane’s debut film Court won Best Film in the Orizzonti section at the 2014 Venice Film Festival, where he was also awarded the Lion of Future.

He and Cuarón met in a mentorship program.

“He was part of most of Roma’s process and I jumped to the opportunity to be part of the process of his second film The Disciple,” Cuarón said. “I believe Chaitanya is one of the most important new voices of contemporary cinema.”

The Venice Film Festival will run from September 2-12 and will be the first major international film event to take place physically since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Cate Blanchett is the president of the main competition jury this year.

Pablo Trapero to Direct Lily James in Studiocanal’s Thriller “The Paris Trap”

Pablo Trapero is Trap-ped

The 48-year-old Argentine filmmaker will direct the thriller The Paris Trapfor Studiocanal.

Pablo Trapero

The Hitchcockian thriller, starring Lily James, revolves around a young American woman on a visit to Paris who becomes the victim of mistaken identity. Caught up in a secret international government operation, she must play the part to save her own life. 

James will play the young woman whose character is thrust to the center of the operation and must find her way out of the “trap,” helped by her handler. That role, the co-lead of the film, will be cast shortly.

The script was written by Daniel Taplitz with current revisions by Michael Lesslie.

The Paris Trap will shoot in Paris early next year.

Trapero previously helmed El Clan,which won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival

He most recently directed the hit international series ZeroZeroZero for Studiocanal, Amazon and Sky TV

Guillermo del Toro Taking Part in Tribeca Enterprises & YouTube’s ‘We Are One: A Global Film Festival’

Guillermo del Toro is taking his talk global…

The 55-year-old Oscar-winning Mexican filmmaker, author, actor, and former special effects makeup artist will take part in Tribeca Enterprises and YouTube’s We Are One: A Global Film Festival

Guillermo del Toro

The fest will stream exclusively on YouTubefor free and feature more than 100 films co-curated by 21 of the most renowned festivals, including the Cannes Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival and the Tribeca Film Festival.

The 10-day fest kicked off on Friday, May 29 and will not only provide entertainment but also offer relief to the COVID-19 pandemic via supporting organizations.

The truly global event will feature programming from different cultures all over the world, with films representing more than 35 countries and include 23 narrative and 8 documentary features, 57 narrative and 15 documentary short films, 15 archived talks along with 4 festival exclusives and 5 VR programming pieces. 

The fest will include 13 world premieres, 31 online premieres and 5 international online premieres. Each selection was handpicked to give shine and highlight each participating festival.

“We are so excited to share the combined efforts of our festival partners and YouTube with the world this week,” said Tribeca Enterprises and Tribeca Film Festival Co-Founder and CEO Jane Rosenthal. “Together, we were able to curate a compelling slate of programming that succinctly reflects the subtle variations in style that make each festival so special. We Are One: A Global Film Festival will offer audiences an opportunity to not only celebrate the art of film, but the unique qualities that make each story we watch so memorable.”

The fest will include the world premiere of Ricky Powell: The Individualist, which spotlights the titular legendary street photographer featuring interviews with Natasha Lyonne and LL Cool J

Eeb Allay Ooo! will make its online debut and introduce a whole new audience to New Delhi’s professional “monkey repellers”. The satirical film won Mumbai Film Festival’s Golden Gateway Award

The iconic Joan Chen will present the world premiere of Iron Hammer, a documentary about legendary, trailblazing Chinese Olympic volleyball star Jenny Lang Ping.

There will also be a lineup of specially-curated talks from past festivals as well as new discussions. Talks will feature del Toro, Francis Ford Coppola with Steven Soderbergh, Song Kang-ho and Bong Joon-ho, Jane Campion and Claire Denis.

In addition to features, audiences will be able to access over 50 narrative and documentary shorts such as the world premiere of Japanese narrative short Yalta Conference Online (wt), which was created exclusively for the fest by director Koji Fukada. The fest will also include the global premiere of the Third Eye Blind documentary short Motorcycle Drive By, as well as shorts from Dreamworks Animation, BilbyMarooned and Bird Karma.

360 VR selections will feature Emmy-nominated documentary Traveling While Black and Alteration, a sci-fi narrative starring Bill Skarsgard, as well as titles featuring John Legend, Oprah Winfrey and Lupita Nyong’o. On top of the film goodness, Questlove from the legendary Roots crew will perform a DJ set for your listening and dancing pleasure.

On the episodic side, We Are One will host the world premiere of Losing Alice, an Israeli female-fronted neo-noir psychological TV thriller as well as the two-part docuseries She Could Be Next which chronicles the experiences of women of color running for office, including Stacey Abrams and  Rashida Tlaib.

In addition to Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Sundance, Toronto and Tribeca, participating festival also include Annecy International Animation Film FestivalBFI London Film FestivalGuadalajara International Film Festival,International Film Festival & Awards Macao (IFFAM), International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), Jerusalem Film FestivalMumbai Film Festival (MAMI), Karlovy Vary International Film FestivalLocarno Film Festival,Marrakech International Film Festival, New York Film FestivalSan Sebastian International Film Festival, Sarajevo Film FestivalSydney Film Festival and Tokyo International Film Festival.

The fest will provide COVID-19 relief through donations to the World Health Organization( WHO), UNICEFUNHCRSave the Children, Doctors Without BordersLeket IsraelGO Foundation and Give2Asia, among others. Audiences will be able to donate via a link on every film page.

Click herefor the full festival schedule.

Music Box Films to Release Pablo Larraín’s “Ema” in U.S. Theaters Next Summer

Pablo Larraín latest film is headed to the U.S.

Music Box Filmshas acquired the U.S. distribution rights to the 43-year-old Chilean filmmaker’s Venice Film Festival drama Ema, starring newcomer Mariana Di GirolamoGael García Bernaland Santiago Cabrera.

Pablo Larraín

Music Box plans to release the Sundance Film Festival-bound drama in theaters in summer 2020. 

Ema charts a woman’s odyssey of personal liberation after a shocking incident upends her family life and marriage to a tempestuous choreographer.

“I feel proud and excited to be working again with Music Box Films, a wonderful company for a movie like Emain the USA,” said feted Chilean director Larraín. “It’s truly amazing.” 

The distributor previously released Larrain’s 2015 film The Club.

“This is one of those films that you have to see to believe,” added Music Box Films’ president William Schopf. “Entirely singular, hypnotic, and compelling, it’s a film that absolutely seduces the senses.”

Emamarks the third collaboration between Larraín and García Bernal, after they previously worked together on No(2012) and Neruda(2016).

Marta Nieto Wins Horizons Best Actress Prize at the Venice Film Festival

Marta Nieto has expanded her Horizons

The 76th Venice Film Festival has drawn to a close, with the 37-year-old Spanish actress taking home one of the night’s prizes.

Marta Nieto

Nieto was named Best Actress in the Horizons competition for her performance in Madre, directed by Rodrigo Sorogoyen.

Theo Court was named Best Director in the Horizons competition.

The Chilean Spanish director won the prize for helming the film Blanco en Blanco.

Here’s a look at this year’s winners at the Venice Film Festival:

VENICE 76

Golden Lion:Joker; dir: Todd Phillips
Grand Jury Prize:An Officer And A Spy: dir: Roman Polanski
Silver Lion, Best Director:Roy Andersson; About Endlessness
Volpi Cup, Best Actress:Ariane Ascaride; Gloria Mundi
Volpi Cup, Best Actor:Luca Marinelli, Martin Eden
Best Screenplay:Yonfan; No. 7 Cherry Lane
Special Jury Prize:La Mafia Non E Più Quello Di Una Volta; dir: Franco Maresco
Marcello Mastroianni Award for for Best New Young Actor or Actress:Toby Wallace, Babyteeth

HORIZONS

Best Film:Atlantis; dir: Valentyn Vasyanovych
Best Director:Theo Court; Blanco En Blanco
Special Jury Prize:Verdict; dir: Raymund Ribay Guttierez
Best Actress: Marta Nieto; Madre
Best Actor: Sami Bouajila; A Son
Best Screenplay: Jessica Palud, Revenir
Best Short Film:Darling; dir: Saim Sadiq

LION OF THE FUTURE — LUIGI DE LAURENTIIS VENICE AWARD FOR A DEBUT FILM:You Will Die At 20; dir: Amjad Abu Alala

VENICE VIRTUAL REALITY

Best VR:The Key; dir: Céline Tricart
Best VR Experience:A Linha; dir: Ricardo Laganaro
Best VR Story: Daughters Of Chibok; dir: Joel Kachi Benson

VENICE CLASSICS

Best Documentary on Cinema: Babenco; dir: Barbara Paz
Best Restoration: Ecstasy; Gustav Machaty