To encourage filmmakers, the Audiovisual Promotion Fund for Central America and Cuba, CINERGIA, held its annual ‘Encuentros Cinergia’, a space for directors and producers to present their film projects to a jury through pitching sessions and private screenings. During the closing night of the encounter, CINERGIA awarded scholarships and grants for to the most promising projects.
In all, four feature-length films in the postproduction stage and twelve works-in-progress were presented, seven of which received special distinctions.
Del Fuego que seremos (Nicaragua) by director Gloria Carrión and producer Natalia Hernández, and Entre Perro y lobo (Cuba) directed by Irene Gutiérrez and produced by José Ayalón, not only walked away with a prize of $5.000 each, but with plenty of networking opportunities and recognition.
A number of participants in the category of films in progress also received scholarships. Medea (Costa Rica) by director Alexandra Latishev and producer Marcela Esquivel will participate in the Colón Workshop held by Fundación TYPA in Argentina. A Costa Rica-Panama regional project, Las Hijas de Alonso González, by Katia Lara and Alejo Crisóstomo, will participate in ‘Films in Development’ 2015 (Cinéma en dévelopement), part of the Toulouse International Film Festival. This is a space aimed at professionals who wish to discover upcoming talents and projects and at directors and producers who want to expand their professional contacts for a project they are developing.
The Cuban documentary proposal Soles de Invierno by Marcel Beltrán and Ivonne Cotorruelo will participate in the next Rotterdam Lab in January 2015 at CineMart during the International Film Festival Rotterdam.
In the category dedicated to projects in the postproduction stage, two Guatemalan films were awarded grants to complete their production. Ixcanul, the feature production of Jayro Bustamente, and ¡Gracias a Dios existo! by Cesar Díaz. Variety describes Bustamente’s film as a story that “revolves around María, a 17-year-old Kaqchiqel girl living in a village in the foothills of a volcano, who faces an arranged marriage with the overseer of the local lands”.
Hivos is Cinergia’s main donor and has supported the fund since its beginnings. “Cinergia’s contribution, articulated with the efforts of many talented filmmakers from the region, has helped put Central America filmmaking back on its feet and stand out in the most recognized film festivals around the world,” said Hivos’ Program Officer Susana Rochna, interviewed for Cinergia’s 10th anniversary publication.