Selman Nacar, Davi Pretto, ‘Penal Cordillera’ Feature at San Sebastian WIP Sections

San Sebastian’s pix-in-post showcases, which have launched notable movies – Sebastian Lelio’s “Gloria” – and notable directors – Jayro Bustamante, introducing his debut “Ixcanul” – unspools in 2022, with the screenings of six WIP Latam titles taking place over Sept. 19 – 21. WIP Europe, with four titles, runs on Sept. 19 and 20. 

In the mix is an awaited title from Chile, “Penal Cordillera,” directed by Felipe Carmona, produced by Dominga Sotomayor and Omar Zuñiga and sold by Luxbox, and “A Strange Path,” from Brazil’s Guto Parente, whose “The Cannibal Club,” acquired by Uncork’d Entertainment, made a stir by portraying a Brazil in which the rich literally eat the poor. 

Also competing in WIP Latam is “A House in the Country,” from Davi Pretto whose “Rifle” – his second film, after the impressive “Castanha” – premiered at 67th Berlinale Forum and won the Grand Prize at Jeonju Intl. Film Festival.

The highest profile title in WIP Europe is “Hesitation Wound,” from Turkey’s Selman Nacar, whose “Between Two Dawns,” an engrossing study of the moral compromise of Turkey’s ruling class, won WIP Europe in 2020 and went on to play san Sebastian’s prestigious New Directors sectionalist year. 

A drill down on this year’s selection: 

WIP LATAM

“A House in the Country,”(“Casa no Campo,” Davi Pretto, Brazil, France, Argentina)

After 15 years away, Amando returns home with her French boyfriend to her family’s sprawling farm, set in an isolated village in the plains of Brazil. She finds her father in a coma, entangling her in a disconcerting settlement between the village and the farm owners.

 “The Castle,” (“El Castillo,” Martín Benchimol, Argentina, France)

Justina has been rewarded by her former employer for her lifelong devotion to her as a maid with a colossal mansion deep in the Argentinian Pampa. The only condition is that she must never sell it. Produced by Gema Films, at San Sebastian with competition player “Pornomelancholy.”.

“A Strange Path,” (“Estranho Caminho,” Guto Parente, Brazil, Portugal)

Stranded by COVID-19 lockdown, filmmaker David reaches out to his estranged father, Gerardo, with whom he has not spoken for more than a decade. When David arrives at his father’s apartment, strange things begin to unfold.

“Penal Cordillera,” (Felipe Carmona, Chile, Brazil)

Four of the most brutal torturers of Pinochet’s dictatorship are serving out sentences amounting to several hundred years in a luxury prison at the foot of the Andes. Fearing their transfer to a regular jail, the military officers will go to great lengths to stay put, unleashing fury and violence in the mountains.

“Sandra,” (Yennifer Uribe Alzate, Colombia, Chile)

Sandra, a single mother, lives with her teenage son and works as a security guard. She begins an affair with a local bus driver discovering there is more to life than just being a mother.

“Mexican Dream,” (“Sueño Mexicano,” Laura Plancarte, Mexico, U.K.

Malena battles to finish her house, set up a business and receive IVF testament to get pregnant, bringing together her family under one roof as she always dreamed. Whether she can pull this off is another question.  Plancarte’s follow-up to the well-received “Non-Western,” produced out of Mexico by her own label, LP Films, and Ivan Trujillo at TV UNAM.  

WIP EUROPE

“The Trap,” (“Klopka,” Nadejda Koseva, Bulgaria, Germany)

Yovo’s peaceful life on the banks of the Danube river is disrupted when a wild boar is brought to the island. Meanwhile, an important foreign investor is arriving at Yovo’s village to authorize a dump for highly radioactive nuclear waste. The boar, bigger and wilder than expected, kills the hunting dogs. Yovo has to bring in his well-trained dog to finish the job.

Hesitation Wound,” (“Tereddüt Çizgisi,” Selman Nacar, Turkey, France, Romania)

A small-town criminal lawyer, Canan, divides her time in the courthouse by day and by her mother’s hospital bed at night. Canan finds herself having to make a moral choice that will affect lives of her mother, the judge and a murder suspect client, whose defence is turning in his favor.

“Do You Love Me,” (“Ty Mene Lyubysh?” Tonia Noyabrova, Ukraine)

Kira’s idyllic teenage life in the late Soviet Ukraine falls apart when she discovers that her father has a mistress. The Soviet Union starts breaking apart: Everything she thought she knew turns out to be an illusion. Seeking love, warmth, and hope for the future, she sees herself going down a dark unexpected path.

“Varvara,” (Anatol Durbala, Republic of Moldova, Romania)

Film centers on Sasha who works for a natural gas company. When his wife gives birth two months ahead of time, Sasha scrounges for money to save their premature baby. But he refuses to take bribes, which threatens his job and leads to conflicts with his colleagues. 

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