We are thrilled to announce today the recipients of the 2016 TFI Latin America Fund, presented by Bloomberg Philanthropies, a program that supports innovative storytellers living and working in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and South America.
The grants were awarded to ten projects out of 225 submissions and are given to films in the advanced development, production or post-production stages. In addition to funding, each grantee will also receive professional guidance and an entrée into the U.S. market.
Since launching in 2010, the TFI Latin America Fund has awarded more than $700,000 in support to more than 54 filmmakers from 15 different Latin American countries. This year’s projects cover a wide variety of topics and themes that reflect each grantee’s unique Latin American culture. They come from countries including Chile, Mexico, Colombia, and for the first time this year, Costa Rica and Uruguay.
The five documentary film winners of this year's TFI Latin America Fund are:
COUNTRY SEASON – Mexico: Directed by Isabel Vaca and Produced by Arturo Mendicuti. An old cowboy has dedicated his life to the breeding of fighting bulls, facing a tough reality every time they die in the bullring.
EL CASTILLO – Chile: Directed by Rene Ballesteros. EL CASTILLO brings the viewer inside a prison for teenagers from the Mapuche countryside in southern Chile. Every night, collective nightmares attack the teenagers – leading to rumors from the elders in the community that the prison is built upon an ancestral Mapuche cemetery.
JAMÓN – Costa Rica: Produced and Directed by Ernesto Villalobos. Two artists in their twenties experience for the first time what it’s like to be in a relationship. Throughout this unpredictable passing of time, we accompany them through the ups and downs that make up a romantic relationship.
LOS REYES – Chile: Directed by Bettina Perut & Iván Osnovikoff and Produced by Maite Alberdi. LOS REYES is the story of a group of teenage skateboarders that embody the challenge of becoming adults in a segregated and classist current day Chile.
THE CREATOR OF UNIVERSES – Uruguay: Directed by Mercedes Dominioni and Produced by Gerardo Castelli. Juan is a 16-year-old diagnosed with symptoms of Asperger who makes movies with his 96-year-old grandmother. His movies serve as a form of expression and personal refuge, but as he becomes increasingly concerned with the day his grandmother will be gone, his stories begin to explore his feelings about death.
The five scripted film winners of this year’s TFI Latin America Fund are:
CASI EL PARAÍSO – Mexico: Directed by Gaz Alazaki, Written and Produced by Edgar San Juan, and Produced by Leonardo Zimbron. Set in the 1950s, an Italian con man travels to Mexico City posing as a Prince to exploit the elite's fascination with European Nobility. They do anything he wants - from paying his daily expenses, to handing over their daughters’ hands in marriage. *In partnership with the Los Cabos Film Festival
CORA – Brazil: Written and Directed by Gustavo de Moura and Matias Mariani. Produced by Gustavo de Moura. After discovering an unfinished documentary made by her father before she was born, Cora begins to uncover the madness that has haunted her family for generations.
KEYLA – Colombian Caribbean: Written and Directed by Viviana Gómez Echeverry and Produced by Raquel Imedio Garcia. A young woman living on a Caribbean island is searching for her father who is lost at sea. When her estranged family comes to help, she must confront their dark past and this new family she never expected to embrace.
NONA – Chile: Directed by Camila Donoso and Produced by Rocio Romero. Seven years after having love affairs with three men, Nona, 66, has moved to the forest. Her self-exiled days are spent creating a literal firestorm of jealousy and revenge.
THE LIFE AND DEATH OF ESPÍRITU PERDOMO – Colombia: Written and Directed by Mauricio Leiva Cook. Produced by Mauro Mueller and Juan Diego Villegas. To escape the war-ravaged world of the living, Espíritu Perdomo – Chaparral’s gravedigger – creates a joyous society of the dead within cemetery walls.
This year’s grants continue the support TFI and Bloomberg Philanthropies have together given storytellers in Latin American countries since 2013 after forming an initial partnership in 2010. Past efforts of the TFI Latin America Fund include workshops in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico. In October, 2015 TFI and Bloomberg Philanthropies hosted a panel discussion event in Mexico City on the Latin America media and entertainment industry, which showcased TFI-supported filmmakers, among others. The TFI Latin America Fund is also sponsored by CANACINE.
Photo credit: El Castillo film