With this year’s edition of Blood Window, the genre focused program in the larger Ventana Sur production market, all wrapped up we can now sit back and take a moment to reflect on the past week’s events.
This was my first trip down to the tenth annual Latin American film market held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This was the sixth edition of Blood Window itself and though I have covered co-production markets over the years in the past, specifically Frontieres at Fantasia, Blood Window still managed to be a fresh and new experience for me.
While I had the larger film festival of Fantasia to go to when my market coverage was complete Ventana Sur and Blood Window are all business, baby. It is about getting your film made and getting it out into the World once completed.
Pitch Sessions at Blood Window took place over two days during the market and did not take place until midway through the week, leaving a couple days before hand for filmmakers to polish their presentations. There were a handful of Market and Work in Progress screenings to go to over Monday night and Tuesday and I moderated a panel about recognizing potential in a production in its early stages with Raven Banner’s Andrew Hunt, Jinga Films’ Julian Richards and Demian Rugna, director of Aterrados (Terrified). Nothing like diving in head first I had never moderated a panel before, and one in front of a largely local Spanish speaking audience, so I let the gentlemen speak from their own filmmaking and film sales experiences while cracking wise to keep the mood loose.
Other than the pitches taking place over two mornings the other more glaring difference was that two of the market’s jurors, Bifan’s Thomas Nam and Sitges’ Monica Garcia Massague would ask the filmmakers questions about their projects right after their presentation. Other than being able to think on your feet after making your presentation what was also clear was what the market was looking for from each project – do you think your film will perform well internationally or just locally? With a number of international producers and sales agents in attendance they would be more inclined to invest or partner with a project that could place anywhere, something that we had touched on in our panel only the day before.
I have attended enough co-production markets over the years to know that out of even the most successful markets only a couple projects will make back onto the festival circuit and have some kind of international sales and distribution arrangement. Though statistics and percentages may be against all the projects I have chosen a handful of projects that stood out for various reasons. Some have a better chance of reaching an international audience, some I deem worthy of mention for what they mean to a trend in the industry that needs addressing. Others I like for their sheer audacity and ambition.
Let us have a look shall we?
While it is safe to say that many distributors and producers are growing weary of hearing how many filmmakers were children of the 80s. One trope of 80s cinema still has enough of a draw though and that is the children in peril genre cinema and there were a couple projects on the first day of pitching that got our attention that way. The first project, Bedtime, from Roberto San Sebastian, director of The Night of the Virgin, ponders what if violence of a film like Home Alone were real? He, along with Kevin Iglesias Rodriguez have pitched the project in previous markets and we have covered it already but we are still fans of the idea of a young boy fighting off evil in his own home.
The second project of a similar ilk comes from Brazil, Beto and the Moon’s Dog. The story is set in the 60s and is about Beto, a ten year old boy who is passionate about comics and westerns. He accepts the challenge to find a revolver with infinite bullets an during his quest will face monsters that are a unique part of Brazil's culture. The production from director Jose Araripe Cavalcante Junior comes with the promise of use of practical effects for its monsters questions were raised if there were a universality to these monsters and would they be scary to anyone outside of Brazil. Moon Dog suggests werewolf to us so we think if this project can get off the ground, yeah, werewolves are pretty universal.
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