DAY THREE - PITCH PERFECT
Day 3 at Ventana Sur and the Blood Window horror strand really gets into gear today with the pitch sessions, my absolutely favourite part of the market. Basically, producers and directors are given six minutes to excite the audience about their upcoming projects. The 'how to pitch' lecture on the first day would have given pointers to all the interested parties and the idea is to be engaging and interesting enough to get meetings with the sales agents and financiers in the select audience. Presentation is everything so it's an object lesson in dynamism, enthusiasm and talent. Plus having a good story/concept too. Then there's a minute set aside for any questions before the next pitch begins.
Here's a rough guide to what was on offer this morning and I think it shows exactly where this fledgling genre industry is at. From Uruguay there was KIKEN, a science fiction horror that poses the question, could you save your relationship in a mutant infested town? This one was promised to be a visually modern movie, viscerally conceived as an energetic rollercoaster. LONG WEEKEND meets John Carpenter was the startling inspiration discussed. From Mexico, THE INCIDENT/THE SIMILARS director Isaac Ezban was pitching his new production THE DUMP about a guy working in a massive waste disposal area who believes there's a demon living below the pile of waste. JEEPERS CREEPERS meets FRAILTY, with POV camerawork from the creature perspective was promised by a highly emotive Ezban. If I was him the first thing I'd dump would be the unappealing title.
From Brazil came THE ANIMAL RACE set in post-apocalyptic 2032 Rio de Janiero, which was basically a budget-conscious HUNGER GAMES done in SIN CITY style. Also from that country was BY DEMON'S WILL, directed by Cintia Domit Bittar, about a religious teen possessed by the devil becoming a career psychiatrist diagnosing other afflicted girls. The Chilean LAMIAE was pitched as an X rated erotic horror about a forest-dwelling witch who eats the flesh of anyone stupid enough to enter her domain. Four criminals on the run do so after causing a bloody massacre in a diner with extremely bloody results. This was a good pitch because of a very evocative - and very naked - teaser trailer. The Spanish CRYING BOY is based on a popular myth about a painter making a deal with the devil for fame and fortune. Gael Garcia Bernal and Penelope Cruz were mentioned in relation to stars interested in the project. Hmmmm!
The Dominican Republic's UQBAR was pitched in dramatically old-fashioned terms as ENEMY MINE meets QUEST FOR FIRE. I asked the producer, wearing a title logo T-shirt, if he thought anyone in the audience was actually old enough to remember those movies! This one was about the sex life of aliens and how they cope with the lack of genitalia, or that's what I gleaned from it anyway. The last pitch today was Christian Cheva's BIRTHDAY PRESENT, a supernatural gorefest described as THE RING meets AY TU MAMA TAMBIEN, which actually intrigued me enough to chat to him afterwards. Out of all of the pitches today, this was the one that proved the most interesting, and he even gave everyone in the audience a relevant gift. I did tell him that the core idea of a possessed video tape had to change as who these days even has a player? And because he wants it to star popular YouTubers, would that generation actually respond to such an outmoded technology these days. Who know if he takes any of that on board though.
Last night most of my fellow Europeans decided to go for tango lessons at a local restaurant. Been there, done that. And after staggering through DAEMONIUM, a popular webisode attraction in this neck of the woods, reconfigured as a feature for international play-off, I decided to join Gaspar Noe, here to conduct a master class on his movie LOVE 3D, at his father's favourite bar and grill for steaks and ice cream. That was an interesting evening as you might imagine. For now it's back-to-back screenings beginning with UPTAKE FEAR and PRESAGIO, before heading off to Palermo Hollywood, the Soho of this city, for another fun night down Argentine way.
Until next time....
Click on the banners above to open and close.