Ventana Sur Latin American Genre Residency, Residencia Fantastica, to Launch in Jalisco (EXCLUSIVE)

In a bid to support the fast-growing Latin American genre market, an inaugural residency for screenwriters, Residencia Fantástica, will take place in Jalisco, Mexico from Oct. 17 to 21.

The first of its kind in Latin America, the genre residency is an initiative of Agavia Studios, Buenos Aires-based industry market Ventana Sur and its genre platform, Blood Window, Cannes’s Marché du Film as well as the Jalisco state film commission, Filma Jalisco.

Program aims to help writers of fantasy/horror content to elevate their projects, providing training, advice and reviews. The objective is to generate a meeting space that motivates the exchange of creative, professional and strategic experiences.

The residency is part of the Tinta Oscura contest, which received a total of 262 scripts from 13 countries. An international jury made up of prominent members of the film industry, Blood Window and Agavia Studios, will select a winner out of five completed scripts that were selected to participate in the Residencia Fantástica. The winner will be awarded at Ventana Sur which takes place Nov. 28 to Dec. 2.

Agavia Studios, run by CEO Gustavo Castillón, will award the winning scriptwriter with $25,000 in exchange for rights to the work, which it aims to produce by early next year. “It’s a huge incentive for a screenwriter who will no longer have to go looking for a producer,” said Ventana Sur executive co-director Bernardo Bergeret on what is planned to be an annual event. 

Residency tutors are Cuba’s Alejandro Brugués (“Juan of the Dead,” “Nightmare Cinema”), Luiso Berdejo (“[REC],” “The Infinite Trench”), Pablo Guisa Koestinger (Grupo Mórbido) and LA-based Argentine producer Axel Kuschevatzky (“Argentina 1985,” “The Secret in Their Eyes”)

“The global genre market has experienced an exponential growth in recent years and in Latin America, a new generation has emerged in search of a place in the powerful world of fantasy,” Bergeret remarked. 

“Residencia Fantastica is the next step in building the Latino talent community and strengthening the genre industry of our region,” concurred Guisa Koestinger, adding: “It focuses on the fundamental basics of our industry: Screenwriting, the spark that ignites the film making process.”

“Screenplays are the ‘philosophers stone’ of filmmaking,” said Sofia Films’ Daniel de la Vega at the time Tinta Oscura was announced. Based in Mexico, Sofia Films is one of the drivers of Blood Window and Ventana Sur, backing prizes at genre and arthouse industry showcases.

The residency will take place at the Casa Carlota in the Pueblo Magico of Tapalpa, Jalisco. It includes masterclasses, individual and group sessions as well as pitching sessions with the participation of notable professionals from the film industry.

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