Ibermedia-Blood Window host panel for Hispanic genre filmmakers


Blood Window, Ventana Sur’s dedicated genre sidebar, hosted a special panel this year, The Fantastic Genre Phenomenon in an Ibero-American Environment: New Content, Formats and Trends. There, filmmakers, producers, festival directors and other industry professionals met, discussed and debated the state of genre cinema in Latin America and Spain, reaching a positive consensus regarding the health of fantasy cinema. , sci-fi and horror in regions for both films. and television.

The day’s discussions were started by Beatriz Navas, Managing Director of the Spanish film agency ICAA, and Javier Fernández, coordinator of Blood Window. The two shared anecdotes and data regarding the experiences and positive results of a collaboration launched earlier under Ibermedia, aimed at strengthening support for genre film and television projects and productions. This year’s panel was hosted by Ibermedia and Blood Window, with support from the ICAA.

“The collaboration with Blood Window allows us to work with the best experts in genre cinema and to be able to provide specific support to genre films that will greatly benefit from Blood Window’s high position in the horror genres. and fantastic. “

According to Navas data, in its first year, the collaboration received 40 qualified submissions, 32 feature films and nine series. In addition to the usual suspects – countries like Argentina, Mexico, and Spain which have strong gender traditions – several submissions have come from emerging markets such as Colombia, Costa Rica, and even El Salvador, which don’t. joined Ibermedia’s larger program than this year.

Once Navas was finished, a panel discussion was organized with Argentinian director Demian Rugna (“Terrified”), Spanish Paula Ortiz (“The Bride”) and Uruguayan Gustavo Hernández (“The Silent House”). The transatlantic trio shared their impressions and experiences relating to the creation of audiovisual genre content. Edna Campos, director of the Macabro Film Festival in Mexico, moderated the discussion, which focused on the present and long-term future of Ibero-American genre cinema.

From the start, existential questions about the differences in gender content between Hispanic and Anglo-Saxon were raised.

“I believe that it is ontologically impossible that there are no differences. Landscape, identity, language, imagination… that’s what builds cinema, ”Ortiz began. “It’s true that Anglo-Saxon patterns predominate in the cinematic language of genre cinema, but it’s also true that horror and fantasy are driven by emotional patterns, and we’ve transformed that, which is striking. . Maybe the Anglo-Saxon patterns are worn out. For me, being of Spanish origin, the imagination of Latin America is so fertile, so rich… I think there is a more effervescent Ibero-American perspective. [than in Europe]. “

On a more practical level, Hernández highlighted distribution models as one of the keys to a shift in genre cinema that sees Latin American and Spanish films finding their own voice and influencing each other.

“I even have trouble seeing Argentinian films in Uruguay in the cinema,” he lamented. “Nine out of ten films in theaters are American blockbusters. But now, with the arrival of platforms, the content is starting to arrive, and we can discover new things from different parts of the Americas.

Rugna agreed, but added that he also saw the change as a push phenomenon and had noticed a revival of the Hispanic genre driven by a young group of starving filmmakers who were let loose thanks to new funding methods that are not so much linked to major box office success.

“I think we are lucky that there is a lot of fresh meat,” he explained. “For a while we tried to emulate what we saw coming from American cinema. This poses problems and it becomes very difficult to make a genre film that is so commercial. But now, often with state aid, there is less pressure to do something commercial. Now we don’t have to put up with producers saying something needs to be changed or a movie won’t sell. “

“It’s not all good or bad though,” Ortiz argued. “The financial cycles of independent and public institutions are very slow and require more deliberate considerations on timing and budget, but offer more copyright freedom than platforms.

“The platforms allow for an industrially accelerated process, but this method has limitations and restrictions imposed by famous algorithms that impose guidelines that affect our work in unpredictable ways. Everything can go to hell depending on whether the algorithm favors you or not, and it’s scary, ”she concluded.

From his own experience, Hernández was a bit more optimistic, pointing out the incredible demand for platforms and concluding that the only way to meet that demand was to order more content. He estimated that his most recent production “Lobo Feroz”, produced by Bowfinger International Pictures and Lobo Feroz with Mother Superior and FilmSharks for Netflix, would have taken four years to complete, from development to post-production in a pre-streamer world. . With Netflix involved, he says it only took a year and a half.

“For me, platforms can complement the cinematic experience,” he argued. “There are options for those who want to watch movies in a large room with a lot of people or at home on their sofa. I believe the two can learn to live together.

“I agree with both of you,” Rugna added, “but I always try to look on the bright side. Very few genre films are hitting theaters and now we know that platforms give us a way. to distribute our films. In the ’80s and’ 90s we all circulated terrible shoddy VHS tapes. Now we can turn on our smart TV or projector and build a microcinema at home. experience.

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