'Musica,' 'Elephant' play Europe-Latin America Forum: Co-production event adds industry heft at San Sebastian

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TAULL, Spain -- Colombian Carlos Moreno's "Que viva la musica!," Peruvian Javier Fuentes-Leon's "The Vanished Elephant" and Argentinean Ana Katz's "Mi amiga del parque" are among 17 projects selected for the first Europe Latin America Co-Production Forum.

Organized by September's San Sebastian Film Festival, the Forum is the fest's most important industry innovation in the last 10 years.

Charting an upper-class Californian girl's joyous descent into drugs, sex and salsa, "Musica" is from Colombian producer-financier Dynamo. Moreno directed Sundance players "Dog Eat Dog" and "All Your Dead Ones."

A psychological thriller-cum-film noir, "Elephant" is the sophomore outing of Fuentes-Leon, winner of a Sundance 2009 audience award with "Undertow."

"Parque," about two mothers who meet in a park with their babies in tow, is produced by Diego Lerman and Nicolas Avruj's Campo Cine ("The Invisible Eye").

Further Forum projects are from up-and-coming talents including Mexico's Nicolas Pereda, Uruguay's Daniel Hendler and Argentina's Victoria Galardi and Anahi Berneri.

Pereda's family drama "Cuando los caballos aprendieron a llorar" turns on a 60-year-old Mexican cowboy living alone on his ranch.

Actor-helmer Hendler ("The Lost Embrace") will present "El Palomar," a humor-laced political thriller.

Daniel Burman and Diego Dubcovsky's Buenos Aires-based BD Cine produce drama "Aire libre," helmed by Berneri ("Encarnacion").

After competition player "Cerro Bayo," Victoria Galardi returns with "Pensaba que iba a haber fiesta," a romantic drama.

The Forum is organized in collaboration with the Incaa-Cannes-organized Ventana Sur and the Cannes Market's Producers Network. Forum's European producers will be invited to Ventana Sur, while its Latin American producers will go to Cannes' Producers Network, allowing projects year-round development, said San Sebastian director Jose Luis Rebordinos.

Running Sept. 27-28, just after the two-day pix-in-post Films in Progress, a showcase for Latin American films, the Forum's aim is to create a must-attend four-day industry draw for Spanish and European producers interested in working in or with Latin America, Rebordinos added.

Studded by name-directors, the Forum also features lesser-known first-time directorial talent: Sought-after Argentinean screenwriter Alejo Flah's "Sexo facil y peliculas tristes"; Aly Muritiba's "O Homem que matou minha amada morta," from Brazilian short film producer Grafo Audiovisual; Bolivian Denisse Arancibia's odd-ball drama "Las Malcogidas"; and "El escuadron de la muerte -- una comedia," a Guatemalan village-set black comedy about second chances in life, said director Jayro Bustamante.

Producer-turned-director Luis Angel Ramirez will pitch "Claria," a genre pic; Inaki Elizalde presents "Pieta," a documentary on extreme poverty worldwide.

Rounding out the Forum are Colombian David David's "Sin memoriam," Argentinean Edgardo Gonzalez's "Tuya," Alex Piperno's Argentina-Uruguay co-production "Chico ventana tambien quisiera tener un submarino," and "La puta realidad," from Ecuador's Gabriela Calvache.

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