'Cows,' 'Dearland' join Primer Corte (Variety)

MADRID -- Santiago Svirsky’s “Mean and Lean Cows,” Martin Boulocq’s “Dearland” and Fernando Spinner’s “Aballay” will unspool at Primer Corte, a key programming strand at next week’s Ventana Sur.

Sparking good buzz, “Cows” is an acid character-driven comedy about three former femme friends who organize a disastrous beachside reunion.

A founding figure of the new Bolivian cinema who directed “The Most Beautiful of My Very Best Years,” produced by Rodrigo Bellott, Boulocq’s “Dearland” is a melancholic love story.

One of the highest profile titles in Primer Corte, “Aballay” reprises Argentina’s past penchant for gaucho -- Argentine cowboy -- Westerns.

Organized by Argentina’s INCAA film institute and the Cannes Film Festival’s Market, the first Ventana Sur runs Nov. 27-30 in Buenos Aires.

Unspooling 12 titles at roughcut stage, Primer Corte looks like its key draw for sales agents.

Section also serves to underscore trends in Latin American filmmaking. One is the vibrancy of Chilean cinema.

Three Chilean films make the final cut. “It could have been more. In quantity and quality, Chilean cinema has grown impressively in recent years,” said Pablo Udenio, who runs Primer Corte with fellow Haciendo Cine magazine exec, Hernan Guerschuny.

From Chile, first-timer Sebastian Brahm’s “Roman” follows a prestigious neurologist back to his native Santiago de Chile in a sophisticated psychological drama.

Nayra Ilic’s “Square Meter” is an intimist two-hander in which a young woman has second thoughts about moving in with her b.f.

Directed by Camilo Becerra, “Dead Dog,” a young single mother drama, won the Work in Progress showcase at August’s Santiago Sanfic fest.

Beyond “Aballay,” Argentina weighs in at Primer Corte with three contrasting titles: “The Winter of the Odd Ones Out,” from Cordoba-based Rodrigo Guerrero, a hip, adolescent-skewed choral drama; Laura Linares’ auteurist docu “Expectancy,” a mood piece about a young mother awaiting her husband’s return from jail; and “Asleep in the Sun,” an absurdist comedy-drama that marks the return of Alejandro Chomski (“A Beautiful Life”, “Reggaeton”) to Argentine filmmaking.

Mexico is repped at Primer Corte by “Leap Year,” a Tsai Ming-liang-ish drama about an increasingly intense, twisted - and explicit - sex relationship, which looks, on paper at least, like prime fest fare.

If Primer Corte has a theme in its first year, it’s an attempt - sometimes failed - to rebuild the past. Another high-profile title, “Love Is All We Need,” a drama with mystic moments from Brazil’s Jorge Duran Gabriel, follows a 9 year old in Rio trying to track down his estranged father.

Made out of Venezuela by Peru’s Marite Ugas, “The Kid Who Lies” follows a 13 year old attempting to find traces of his past after a landslide destroys his town.

For its 12-pic lineup, Haciendo Cine viewed 85 productions.

“You could imagine a significant number of the selected titles playing festivals. And that, of course, adds to their interest,” said Udenio.

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