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Al Este 2021

Industry Report: Europe and the Rest of the World

Six Latin American projects work with European experts at the EsteLAB


The training and development lab and workshop of the Al Este Festival in Lima invited Peruvian, Argentinian, Colombian and Mexican filmmakers to take part in proceedings

Six Latin American projects work with European experts at the EsteLAB
Director Pancho Tuesta, whose project Diálogo en privado has been selected

The Lima-based Al Este Festival, the 12th edition of which is currently taking place online from 26 May-18 June (see the news), has organised the third edition of the EsteLAB. This lab, which unspooled from 7-15 June, provided a chance to build bridges between Latin American-initiated projects and the European industry, via a space for working, training and development intended to foster opportunities for co-productions.

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This year, the workshop, which was conceived for projects at the development stage, brought together Peruvian, Argentinian, Colombian and Mexican filmmakers, the majority of whom were working on their feature debuts, and professionals and experts from the region as well as from Europe. German maven Marjorie Bendeck (director of the Connecting Cottbus co-production market and an expert working at the Mediterranean Film Institute, Locarno Open Doors and IFFR Pro), Italy’s Ilaria Gomarasca (the head of First Cut +, a member of the selection committee for various festivals, such as the FIFF Namur Francophone Film Festival, and a consultant for various international programmes), Chilean producer Esme Jofre, and Spanish producers Pedro Palacios (also a teacher at the San Antonio de los Baños International Film School, Cuba) and Luis Reneo (who is based in Los Angeles) worked together with the up-and-coming filmmakers over the course of this event.

Standing out among the selected projects are three originating in Peru. The first, Diálogo en privado, directed by Pancho Tuesta and produced by Illary Alencastre Pinilla, follows a famous Peruvian author who lives with her husband in Buenos Aires, wallowing in depression because her marriage is breaking down, and a screenwriter who is also the man’s lover. The two women will have to confront one another and reevaluate their lives when the former catches the latter by surprise by telling her that the man they have in common has died in an accident. The second project, Sobre el acantilado, helmed by Enrica Pérez (who made her feature-length debut with her 2014 flick Climas) and staged by Enid Campos, revolves around a very bright student at a Catholic boarding school in the 1940s, who dreams of becoming a saint, but the unexpected arrival of a foreign girl will turn her world upside down. The third project, Pucallpa, directed by Santi Zegarra (who previously helmed the documentary feature Re-Naissances in 2018) and produced by Norma Velasquez, tells the story of a Peruvian transgender migrant woman who is locked up in a French men’s prison.

The remaining projects hail from Argentina, Colombia and Mexico. Argentina’s Bien de familia, directed by Sonia Stigliano and produced by Eugenia Tewes, tells of how two sisters find a camera in the house they grew up in, and as they examine it, they discover a surprise, an unknown story, an unexpected journey. Colombia’s ¿Dónde están Los árboles?, helmed by Fabian Villamil and staged by Ricardo Jose Marquez Tafur, follows the trail of Los árboles, an enigmatic underground band in 1990s Colombia, which, in the midst of one of the nation’s most violent periods, made an album that was to revolutionise music and then, oddly, simply vanished. Finally, Mexico’s Una chica triste, directed by Fernanda Tovar and produced by Daniel Loustaunau, brings us closer to a woman who, after being raped at a party by a member of her swimming team, takes the law into her own hands together with her best friend.

The projects are in search of both Latin American and European partners. For more information, please click here.

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(Translated from Spanish)

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