San Sebastian Announces Latin American Films in Competition


The San Sebastian Film Festival has announced the 12 films participating in the Horizontes Latinos section competing for a cash prize of  €35,000, including works from filmmakers from Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Uruguay and Colombia. Most of these selections have competed or have been presented throughout renowned film festivals, but will have their Spanish premiere in the 60th edition of the festival.

From Argentina comes Infancia clandestina, directed by Benjamín Ávila, his debut feature film which was awarded the Cine en Construcción from Premio Casa de America in 2011. And was presented at Cannes Directors’ Fortnight . The poignant story about a boy learning how to survive in a world of false passports and the continuous need to remain hidden, inaugurates the festival. Aquí y Alla, directed by Antonio Méndez Esparza, debuts his Mexican/Spain and American collaboration, which won the top prize at Cannes' Critics' Week award. It tells the story of Pedro, a married man with two daughters who tries to earn a living with his musical group upon his return to Mexico.

Director Alicia Cano presents her Uruguayan-German production of the film, El Bella Vista, a documentary that traces the history of a small town in Uruguay. As a place that began as a soccer club, it later turned into a brothel where transvestites roamed the streets and much later a Catholic chapel due to pressure from the conservations society. La demora / Delay from Mexican-Uruguayan director Rodrigo Plá, was presented during the Berlin Film Festival and examines a woman’s relationship with her father, an 80 year old man and victim to memory loss.

Winner at Cannes' Un Certain Regard, the Mexican film After Lucía / Después de Lucía (pictured) directed by Michel Franco focuses on a teenager bullied by classmates whose silence will only ensure terrible consequences. Brazilian director Marcelo Gomes presents Era uma Verónica / Once Upon a Time Veronica, which was originally screened at San Sebastian last year, as part of Cine en construcción deals with Verónica , a 26 year old who tries to fulfill her father’s last request: to find the love of her life.

Joven y alocada / Young and Wild by Chilean director Marialy Rivas was also screened during last year’s Cine en Construcción, won this year’s “Best Screenplay” in the category of World Cinema in the Sundance Film Festival, and was selected for the  Generation section in the Berlin Film Festival. Joven y alocada is the portrait of a rebellious 17 year old in a strict evangelical family who finds an enormous obstacle in her quest to follow the “right road.” From acclaimed director Carlos Reygadas is Post Tenebras Lux (pictured), which competed as an Official Selection during the Cannes Film Festival and won the prize for Best Director, a film about the life of Juan and his family who live in a world where both their suffering and pain is either complimentary or against one another.

The Colombian film La Playa, directed by Juan Andrés Arango, competed in the category of Un Certain Regard at Cannes, as well as Cine en construcción as a work-in-progress. It is the story of Tomás, whose journey to find his younger brother in Bogotá, will force him to face his fears and the pain of the past.

Salsipuedes by Mariano Luque from Argentina, a selection in Toulouse, Cannes and BAFICI film festivals, is about a Carmen and her husband Rafa’s camping trip and his inability to enjoy it.

William Vega's La Sirga, which also participated in Directors' Fortnight in Cannes and was awarded in Toulouse, is the story of Alicia, a woman who has lost everything and decides to go in search of her Uncle Óscar's hostel in the laguna La Concha. Finally the Argentinean film, El Último Elvis by Armando Bo tells of a man who believes he is the reincarnation of Elvis and must choose between his family or his dreams. 

In addition to these 12 titles, the festival announced that the Argentinean director Carlos Sorín will be participating in the Official Competition with his most recent film Días de pesca / Fishing Days, about a 50-year-old alcoholic who takes up a hobby and decides to go fishing in a small town where is estranged daughter lives. It is the fourth time that Sorín participates in the Spanish festival.

The festival celebrating its 60th edition, will take place from September 21-29, and will be held in San Sebastian, Spain.