'La Salada', 'The Companion' Win at Films in Progress and Co-Production Forum

Pavel Giroud - P 2013
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Pavel Giroud - P 2013

Directors Pavel Giroud and Juan Martin Hsu were among those awarded.

SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain – Pavel Giroud’s friendship drama The Companion was named the top project at the 2nd Europe-Latin American Co-Production Forum Wednesday, while Juan Martin Hsu’s La Salada won the Industry Award at the 24 Films in Progress event.

Companion brings together Panama’s Arete Audiovisual and Jaguar Films, Venezuela’s Trampolin Impulos Creativo and France’s Tu Vas Voir, which produced Walter Salles’ The Motorcycle Diaries. With development finalized and casting underway, the €580,936 project was looking to close the 47 percent of its financing remaining via European partners.

STORY: San Sebastian Film Festival Kicks Off 

It walked away with the EGEDA award for the forum’s top project with €10,000.

The forum boasted a variety of projects.

Antonio Cuadri’s Concha Connection, with a budget of €3.2 million, came to the forum looking for a Latin American co-produce with 48 percent of the financing already in place, while Ana Diez’s The Gateway to Love arrived in San Sebastian with only 20 percent of the €1.7 million and was seeking international sales agents.

Adrian Saba’s Where the Wild Ones Dream looked to strengthen the €249,530 project that already received support from Cannes’ Cinefondation, while finding a European and Latin American co-producer.

In total, 16 projects took part in the three-day event that has infused San Sebastian with a new industry attraction. The event, held in the Cloister of the San Telmo Museum was applauded by the attendees as productive.

“Not only does it let people in the industry know about your project, but you find 25 people that are here with projects that you could be interested in,” said Gateway producer Jose Maria Lara. “But then you find you also have to spend more money to translate the script into French or English.”

Lara’s project was one of six selected to attend the Ventana Sur in Cannes “to continue the international trajectory by participating in the Ventana Sur market and in the following edition of the Producers Network in Cannes.”

The other producers whose projects were chosen included: Pedro Aguilera Londaiz’s Pass This On, Edgar Tenembaum’s The Companion, Marianne Dumoulin's  No One’s Boy, Alberto Gerrikabetia’s Conch Connection and Eugenia Mumethaler’s  Air Pocket.

Meanwhile, across the plaza at the Principe Theater, the Films In Progress sidebar was screening promising unfinished projects from Latin America with the top prize awarded post-production financing up to completion of the final copy.

Salada is a mosaic of different stories of new immigrants in Argentina all taking place at the La Salada festival. The prize is granted by the companies: Daniel Goldstein, Deluxe Spain, Dolby Iberia, Laserfilm Cine and Video, Nephilim, No Problem Sonido and Vertigo Films.

The Films in Progress section has become a must with buyers looking to get a first glimpse at fresh talent and has fed into the world’s top festivals.

The two events complement each other.

“It creates a great synergy because there are already a lot of French buyers in town looking at projects that are a little further along in the process -- at stage two -- just over there in Films in Progress,” said sales executive David Castellanos of Cinema Republic.

Indeed business seemed to be picking up at this year’s festival, where Castellanos closed sales to Germany’s Cine Global for all rights on Paco Leon’s Carmina or Blow Up and Enrique Perez Him’s Puro Mula.

One project that wasn’t on the book at the forum was Spanish director Juanma Bajo Ulloa’s Rey Gitano (Gypsy King), a comedy starring Spanish showman Tony Lomba.