Ventana Sur: Latin American Film Week Honors FiGa Films

A six-film program opens tomorrow with hits from the distributor's catalog in its eighth anniversary.

BUENOS AIRES – L.A.-based distributor FiGa Films is one of the honored guests at this year’s Ventana Sur market in Buenos Aires, where a six-film program curated by Teresa Toledo will focus on FiGa’s unique LatAm catalog, Dec. 5-10.

The program opens with recent San Sebastian winner Bad Hair, with Venezuelan star Samantha Castillo in town to promote the film; Mariana Rondon's film was FiGa’s 2013 success. It joins Kleber Mendonca Filho’s Neighboring Sounds and Javier Andrade’s The Porcelain Horse -- both movies are bidding for a Foreign Oscar nomination for Brazil and Ecuador, respectively.

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“This was a very good year, and the hard part will be to maintain that level. Lots more people want to work with us now, and there are lots of new films. Still, I love to launch new careers of unknown, upcoming filmmakers. We have to always balance between renowned directors and younger people,” said FiGa co-owner Sandro Fiorin to The Hollywood Reporter.

That’s exactly the case for FiGa’s big offering at Ventana Sur with We Are Mari Pepa, a comedy by Mexican first-timer Samuel Kishi Leopo that was in competition in Toulouse and Morelia. “It took us by surprise,” says Fiorin.

Fiorin and (co-owner) Alex Garcia kicked off FiGa in 2006 at Sundance, with Chico Teixiera’s Alice’s House, and turned it into a brand for distributing original, awarded LatAm films -- often from first-time directors -- and finding them room in the cramped U.S. exhibition market.

“If we’re going to represent a film for two or three years, we both have to like it a lot, and love it as much as its director does. We get involved in all the aspects of the film's  promotion, from festival and commercial releases to an Oscar nomination campaign,” FiGa owners say in their mission statement.

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Ventana Sur’s Latin American Film Week full program is as follows:

Bad Hair (Mariana Rondon - Venezuela)

Dog Flesh (Fernando Guzzoni - Chile)

Jonathas' Forest (Sergio Andrade - Brazil)

Summer of Goliath (Nicolas Pereda - Mexico)

Los Viejos (Martin Boulocq - Bolivia)

Marimbas From Hell (Julio Hernandez Cordon – Guatemala)