BARCELONA — “Rara,” “Neruda” and “A Monster Calls” have made the first cut, alongside another 142 features, for this year’s 4th Platino Ibero-American Film Awards, the region’s highest-profile movie event. It is organized by EGEDA Spanish Producers Rights Collection Society and backed by the Ibero-American Federation of Film and Audiovisual Producers (FIPCA). National film academies and film funding boards across Latin America also back the Platinos.
The long-list was announced at this week’s Guadalajara Film Festival. It was made up from a record number of 847 submissions, according to organizers. In the most major innovation of this year’s edition, the Platino Awards will adds a TV series category.
“Rara,“ from Chile’s Pepa San Martin, weighs in as the film with most category confirmations, a somewhat remarkable fact given its a first feature. A LGBT/arthouse family drama, “Rara” turns on two daughters, their biological mom and her partner, who is another women. “’Rara’ packs a lot into less than 90 minutes without ever breaking a sweat,” said a Variety review. The fin world premiered in Berlin’s Generation Kplus sidebar taking the International Jury Grand Prix, plus the Horizons Award at Spain’s San Sebastian. Sold by Madrid-based sales agent Latido “Rara” is produced by Santiago de Chile-based Manufactura de Películas in partnership with Buenos Aires’ Le Tiro Cine.
Pablo Larraín’s “Neruda,” starring Mexico’s Luis Gnecco and Gael García Bernal, represents “a stunningly inventive take on the function rather than the life of a writer,” according to Variety. It has been nominated for a Golden Globe and took four awards at Decemeber’s Fenix Ibero-American Film Awards, plus Best Feature at the London Film Festival. The third Chilean feature entry in the first longlist is Alejandro Fernández Almendras’ “Much Ado About Nothing,” a legal underscoring the impunity before justice, or that’s how the director sees it, of Chile’s ruling classes.
Most countries compete for best feature with three productions, with the exception of smaller industries territories, such as Guatemala, Ecuador, Panama and Paraguay, which have two entries. Interestingly, one of them, Paraguay’s “Guaraní,” from Luis Zorraquín, a father-daughter relationship drama come road movie set on the Parana River, is one of the titles selected to vie for Platino honors in most categories – seven in all.
Other features set to compete for a broad range of potential awards include J. A. Bayona’s “A Monster Calls,” – a challenger in eight categories, – Ariel Rotter’s Berlin Jury Grand Prix Winner “Incident Light” – up for six – and Gastón Duprat and Mariano Cohn’s “The Distinguished Citizen” in play for five. “The Distinguished Citizen” won Best Actor for Oscar Martinez at September’s Venice Festival. Produced out of Spain by Apaches Ent., Telecinco Cinema and Películas La Trini, and sold by Lionsgate, Liam Neeson starring “A Monster Calls” has earned $43 million worldwide. Other movies contending for the 2017 Best Feature Platino Award are Kleber Mendonça Filho’s “Aquarius” and Gabriel Mascaro’s “Neon Bull,” both from Brazil, Jonás Cuarón’s “Desierto,” a Mexico-U.S. production, Celso García’s “The Thin Yellow Line” (Mexico), and Lorena Muñoz’s “I Am Gilda, The Latin Music Saint” (Argentina).
Spain has a notable presence in the animation section where it accounts for three of the five movie in contention for best animated feature: Alberto Vázquez and Perdo Rivero’s “Psiconautas, the Forgotten Children,” Alberto Rodríguez and Nacho La Casa’s “Ozzy,” and Agurtzane Intxaurraga’s “Teresa & Tim.”
The Platino Awards ceremony will take place in Madrid in July.