'Between Night and Day' grabs San Seb win

'Asalto al Cine' wins Casa de America award

By Pamela Rolfe

SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain - Bernardo Arellano's unfinished feature "Between Night and Day" was the big winner of the San Sebastian International Film Festival's Films in Progress sidebar Wednesday, picking up the Industry Award, which sees the film to completion.

"This is a great opportunity for films from Latin America," Arellano said as he picked up the award. "This initiative has a tremendous value for those of us who make cinema with our own resources."

The Mexican film tells of a lonely autistic man and his discovery of a new way of life.

Mexico's Iria Gomez Concheiro's "Asalto al Cine" took the Casa de America award, worth 10,000 euros in post-production costs.

A joint venture of the Rencontres Cinemas d'Amerique Latine in Toulouse and the San Sebastian festival, Films in Progress is intended to facilitate the completion of films by independent Latin American and Spanish filmmakers at the postproduction stage. It also ensures a coveted spot on the festival circuit for the winners, with an earmarked slot at San Sebastian.

The Industry Award is sponsored by half a dozen postproduction facilities in Spain and foots the bill for all the remaining costs to deliver a 35mm copy of the film, subtitled in English, while the TVE Award secures Spanish broadcast rights for the public broadcaster.

The popular sidebar is the big draw for buyers at Spain's top festival, offering them a sneak peek at promising projects coming from Latin America.

"It's a selection of films, not just one company, showing one film," said Genna Terranova, Senior Programmer at Tribeca Film Festival. "There's a diversity of films and the fact that they have been curetted by a team of programmers of another festival is attractive."

The festival's parallel sidebar focusing on the Maghreb has seen its recognition grow this year.

"It's a nice selection and it's good to have a first glimpse at what's going on both regions," said Sundance Senior Programmer Shari Frilot. "I haven't been here in a few years and what I'm seeing now are almost finished films."

Earlier this week, Leila Kilani's "Sur La Planche" won the Films in Motion top award, which covers the post-production cost of the French-Moroccan film to provide a 35mm copy without subtitles.

San Sebastian runs in Spain's northern Basque region until Sept. 26.
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