Stories, stories, stories… a pitching forum like this in Argentina is in a way one long learning process for someone from the North, who has some, but still a pretty limited knowledge about Latin American history, art and culture, religion, social and political conditions. This learning process goes of course also for the panelists from Europe, who for themselves and their audience asked about a context or a universal perspective when responding to the pitches. There are films that have a universal appeal and there are films that are local – and if you say ”local” about Latin America… there is a huge market potential.
There were projects about tango, carnival in Brasil and salsa in Colombia – projects that subject-wise had some fine starting points, but then on the other side had to struggle with the many other films made about the same themes. They had to stress the difference in approach, and they did. While a very fine film clip about the recently deseased Argentinian writer Ernesto Sábato (photo), based on material shot by the director Juan Pablo Lacroze in 1995, was discussed in the panel. Austrian Frans Grabner from ORF asked the director for an introduction of the author, in the film, while Jordi Ambros from TV3 expressed that the great material should keep its strong cinematic structure. To be added – Sábato is translated into many languages, and of course he is more known in Spain than in Austria.
The same looking for a European link was the case for a film about the charismatic bishop Jerónimo Podestá. The director Miguel Mato and his script writer Eduardo Spagnuolo showed amazing archive material with Podestá, who was part of the liberation theology movement and with him and his Clelia, ”his love and guide”. How to put the story about the controversial bishop into a context that works for a European audience?
Easier with the beautiful story about Inés, presented by Colombian Luisa Sossa, a film about her great grandmother, who had 20 children (!) and a violent husband. Ines wrote her diaries in a textbook and the director wants to let her fine words lead the story about a woman and her family.
In many cases it was obvious that projects divided the panel into a Latin American relevance and a European – with the supplement of a Chinese tv investor.
Having said so there were definitely stories that appealed to both sides of the ocean – see below.