Buenos Aires Film Fest Strengthens Project Lab

Luis Ortega's "Untitled.

BAFICI’s trademark co-prod market BAL selected 12 LatAm projects to foster together with Rotterdam’s Cinemart and Valdivia’s AustraLAB.

BUENOS AIRES – The Buenos Aires Film Festival’s BAL, Latin America’s longest-running co-prod market, has officially kicked off Tres Puertos (‘Three Ports’), its new association with Rotterdam’s Cinemart and Valdivia Fest’s AustraLAB, which aims to foster young talents and provide creative assistance on projects at the three festivals.

The joint venture initiative, launched in last year’s BAFICI, has now selected 12 projects for a workshop-journey.

 “BAL was the first co-production market in the region, it has been around for 12 years and we realized the formula was a bit exhausted for us, so we decided to team up with AustraLAB and Cinemart to go back to the directors and accompany a selection of 12 filmmakers in their creative process,” BAL’s Violeta Bava told The Hollywood Reporter

“We’ve designed a workshop that adjust to the projects’ specific needs without a pre-conceived program, and with the help of a group of tutors and experts,” she added. After BAL, the selected projects will then travel to Valdivia Film Fest for further work, and some of them are expected to be ready for presentation at Cinemart.  

The selection includes directorial debuts of young actresses Manuela Martelli (Rutger Hauser starrer Il Futuro) and Maria Alche (Lucrecia Martel’s The Holy Girl), and second films by promising filmmakers, such as Costa Rica’s Neto Villalobos (All About the Feathers), and Argentina’s Benjamin Naishtat (Berlinale-entry History of Fear).

Also, this year BAL’s well-established WIP section brings 8 unfinished works by LatAm directors like festivals-favorite Matias Piñeiro (The Princess of France), Nicolas Pereda (Absent), and Luis Ortega, among others. “There are names that create some expectation together with others we believe are going to be a discovery,” said Bava.

BAL will award post-production prices and invites to participate in the second edition of BAL goes to Cannes, an event organized together with Cannes’ Marché du Film

BAL runs March 3 - 6, during the Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival.