The biggest innovation at this year’s Ventana Sur, for example, was a Proyecta co-production firm co-organized by the Cannes Film Market and San Sebastian Festival, the biggest festival in the world and the highest-profile festival in the Spanish-speaking world. One way forward is to combine efforts, expertise and brand marketing. The double award is not coincidental. As festivals morph from one-off one-to-two week affairs to all-round movie activism, they have had to do so often on the same budget and with the same staff.
Both Frémaux and Rebordinos have also done much for Argentine filmmaking simply by recognizing its worth and artistic wealth.
Running late September, and facing impossible competition from Venice and a fortified Toronto,  San Sebastian has established itself from the mid-1980s under Diego Galán and Manuel Perez Estremera as an annual showcase for the best in not just Spanish but Spanish-language cinema.
In industry terms, it was a milestone decision. “Wild Tales” went on to become one of the highest grossing foreign-language movies of the year. Frémaux’s passion for Argentina does not influence his selection, he said on Monday at his opening keynote to Ventana Sur. The selection, and a slew of near unanimous positive reviews propelled the film to world sales. Bowing in August on home turf, it also helped consolidate that month in Argentina as one in which Argentineans believe they can catch local movies well worth watching. But he went out on something of a limb in 2014, selecting “Wild Tales” for Cannes competition.
BUENOS AIRES — In a ceremony just before Friday’s prize announcements at Ventana Sur, Cannes chief Thierry Frémaux and José Luis Rebordinos, director of the San Sebastian Festival, were named honorary members of Argentina’s Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in a new move for the Academy, out through by its new president, Bernardo Zupnik, who conducted the ceremony.
Rebordinos has taken that process two steps further, launching a Europe-Latin America Co-production Forum in 2012 and at this year’s Ventana Sur, partnering with the Cannes Film Market on a Proyecta 14-project forum of Latin American and European movies seeking international co-production. Highlighting a combined 30 titles, the double event now has the scale to establish itself as the premiere market filter in the world for arthouse and crossover movies from or set in Latin America.
Almodóvar regular Celia Roth presented Frémaux with a framed Argentine AMPAS dedication on Friday.
For his part, Rebordinos has taken to programming standout Argentine movies in competition, either as world (Anahi Berneri’s “Alanis” last year) or European premieres (Benjamin Naishtat’s “Rojo” in 2018). Both went on to win a slew of awards at San Sebastian, consolidating the status of both filmmakers.
Presenting Rebordinos with a plaque, Zupnik praised him for having “privileged the cinema of our [Latin American] region and his constant search for new projects and talents which reaffirm the presence of our cinema internationally.”” />
Rebordinos has also emerged as a mainstay of Ventana Sur, curating the works in progress in Blood Window, the market’s forum for genre movies, a personal passion, and now co-organizing the market’s new Proyecta co-production forum which will begin to see deals go down from next week on projects from a new generation of emerging Latin America and European filmmakers.
Two examples: Frémaux lived in Argentina, loves the country, speaks Spanish with ease and an Argentine accent, is visibly relaxed and happy curating the Cannes Festival Cinema Week which adds a festival heft to Ventana Sur and reminds Buenos Aires spectators of the excitement of the cinema-going experience.

MADRID — Women fighting back. Three of the six titles in Ventana Sur’s Copia Final this year picture women confronting outrage or tragedy – gender violence (“Do You Like Me?”), the abduction of a new born baby (“Song Without a Name”) or the death of a husband (“Venezia”) – and reacting, in multifarious fashions.
“Song Without a Name,” (Melina León, Peru)
“Venezia,” (Rodrigo Guerrero, Argentina, France)
VENTANA SUR, 2018, COPIA FINAL
“Do You Like Me?” has a thriller edge. Three more, underscoring Latin American cinema’s current broad range,  show Latin American filmmakers enrolling mainstream beats to appeal beyond traditional arthouse audiences in more accessible titles, whether in an unusual immigration drama (“Marionette”), or via empathy with a challenged protagonist (“The Friendly Man”) or a straight-up coming of age tale (“This Is Not Berlin”).
Authentic in setting, observance of daily life and the near documentary cast of the brief aftermath to its dramatic climax, “Do You Like Me?” also boasts a talent-to-track lead in newcomer Marina Krasinsky playing a teen daughter who joins her local gang’s Japanese restaurant heist in order to pay off her family debt. Set in Buenos Aires’ housing projects, “Do You Like Me?” starts as a crime thriller, then bucks generic commonplaces as it delivers a numbing gender violence and revenge drama. The consequences, in a world rife in machism, are traumatic.
A suspense film in which the political situation of Brazil is present, without being addressed head-on, Riba said, in another title inviting spectators to invest in the fortunes of its lead, Iberê Carvalho’s “The Friendly Man” has a now 60-something singer in an ‘80s punk rock band accidentally murdering a police officer. Over one long night in Sao Paulo, as a video of the murder goes viral, he gets to reconsider his political credos. “A thriller and kind of ‘After Hours,’” said Riba, “The Friendly Man” is written by Carvalho and Pablo Stoll, a leading light of the New Uruguay Cinema.
“This is Not Berlin,” (Hari Sama, Mexico)
With two titles also in Primer Corte and Copia Final, it looks like Mexico has had a good year, Riba said, stressing the titles’ inclusion had nothing to do with Mexico being Ventana Sur’s  country of honor this year.
In contrast with Ventana Sur’s Primer Corte pix-on-post strand, Copia Final titles are little-seen, completed but fresh movies yet to see commercial release outside their country of origin, Riba said. co-organizer and journalist, and María Nuñez, one of the creators and curators of Ventana Sur’s industry showcases from their origins. Copia Final titles were chosen by Eva Morsch Kihn, head of programing at the Toulouse Cinelatino Festival, José María Riba, Different!
Maybe the most classic art film of the six, “Venezia” weighs in drama about a woman who is forced to stay in Venice after her husband dies on their honeymoon. Set up at Latin Twins, it is directed by Argentina’s Rodrigo Guerrero (“The Winter of the Odd Ones Out”). The event allows her to reconsider her life.
One Mexican title, “Marionette,” is a take on Cuban immigration, not to the U.S. but Mexico, just as the “Acorazado,” the Morelia-winning feature debut of Alvaro Curiel de Icaza, a prolific big series director (Fox’s “Besieged,” Disney’s “Hasta que te conocí”), was the tale of a Mexican who rafts towards Miami and ends up in Cuba.
“Marionette,” (Álvaro Curiel de Icaza, Mexico)
“The Friendly Man,” (Iberê Carvalho, Brasil)
The debut feature of Peru’s Melina León, “Song Without a Name” is shot in black and white, like her breakthrough short “El paraíso de Lili,” which bowed at the New York Film Festival in 2009. She initiates a desperate search, helped by a journalist in a film which, in its portrait of the Peruvian city of Ayacucho, borders at times on a near documentary, said Copia Final co-curator José María Riba. Inspired by a real event, co-produced by New York’s Torch Films and lensed by Inti Briones, DP on Dominga Sotomayor’s Locarno winner “Too Late o Die Young,” it turns on a Andean woman musician whose newly-born baby mysteriously disappears.
A straight-up coming of age film dealing in art, discovering one’s sexuality and friendship which will survive adolescent perils, “This Is Not Berlin” marks the fifth feature of Hari Sama who has carved out a hallmark as a director-producer at Mexico’s Catatonia of high-end open arthouse movies, sluiced with cinematic or artistic echoes and focusing on the broad tribulations of Mexican youth. His own films and Alonso Ruizpalacios’ “Güeros,” Berlin’s 2014 best first feature winner, are the most prominent examples.
The co-producer is Monica Lozano’s Alebrije Producciones, producer of “Amores perros” and “Instructions Not Included,” and a shrewd judge of made-for-an audience movies. Less broad farce than “Acorazado,” more of a romantic dramedy, “Marionette” turns on a famed Cuban actor, out of work and up to his neck in Mexico when he starts teaching his acting skills to a small-time mob’s network of beggars and falls for its boss’ woman.
“Do You Like Me?,” (Edgardo Mario González, Argentina)” />